Drone firm to naked woman: no, we were not taking aerial photos of you


And here’s your fascism. Our most personal lives and security violated by a virtually unaccountable authority.

Pleiss’ concerns were totally reasonable, but the police did investigate them promptly, the operators appear to have been a private company taking legitimate landscape photos, the guy in charge has been responsibly forthcoming and personally apologized for troubling her, and in any case the drone was a block away, not hanging in front of her window. Again, I can’t blame Pleiss for being bothered, but in the end this doesn’t seem like anything worse than a human snapping pics from the street in a residential neighborhood.


Still waiting for the first person to be arrested for waving their dick at a drone.


Drone cruised just a few feet away from my glass door and bedroom window on the 4th floor. Neighbor in the hallway was pleading with the cops to come out, I never saw them show up.

It sounds like a bit of an overreaction. The guy could have hired a person with a large bucket truck to park on their site and take areal pictures of it. Granted it wouldn’t be 26 stories high, but the people on the 5th or 6 floor would be exposed to the same issue in that the person in the raised platform COULD choose to point their camera up instead of down. Can drones by misused? Yes. Should we run about and scream and shout every time we see one? Probably not. If you are truly afraid someone is going to try and invade your privacy from their drone, peeking into your floor-to-ceiling windows, buy a nice green laser pointer.

The elderly woman who lives across the street from me is rather, um, curious. She owns a set of high power binoculars. She could look into my front windows without me being able to tell. That is why I draw my shades when I feel the need for privacy. We have the “top down/bottom up” type shades, so normally I just bring them up half way so she doesn’t see me walking around in my boxers in the morning. I can see that the woman in this story is upset that drones might put her on the same privacy level as those of us stuck on the ground. But I find it hard to care unless the drones are flying right up to her building and staring in her windows. And hasn’t she ever seen an episode of Fraiser? She’s got to know that many of her neighbors have telescopes just like he did, and they aren’t used to look at stars. At least not most of the time.


Why can’t I declare a “no fly zone” over my property? Drones are nothing less than invaders of privacy and who knows who’s using them and for what purpose. Is it the government? Is it tracker that thinks it can get enough info to sell to corporate interests that will start sending me sales pitches based on my outdoor furniture, plants, pets, etc.? Does the drone belong to a private citizen in my neighborhood? Don’t get me started.

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Yeah. That person will be arrested and the drone operator who’s invading citizens’ privacy will continue unscathed and unashamed.

With sufficiently good optics and good weather, there are plenty of people who can see into most 26th floor windows, from their residences.

I wonder if anyone has been charged with peeping while capturing an image from inside their residence (or vehicle in public, to take it a bit further).


I’m trying


So basically, if the woman is concerned about the drone’s position invading her privacy, she’s really going to have trouble sleeping in future now that a building will be put in its place with several people permanently having that view.


Seems relevant:

I do predict a…period of uncertainty… for people who live on the 26th floor, though. The operators appear to have been as licit as they reasonably could be; but it is more or less novel for windows with zero sight line to the street(unless pressed directly against them or close to it) and possibly not even good sight line from nearby buildings(again, unless quite close to the window so no interior walls/furnishings occlude the path) to possibly have a photographer hovering quietly in front of them.

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…this time.

It does not follow that drones will not be used for creepy purposes on a regular basis. I think it’s absolutely guaranteed to happen as the price of the technology comes down. In fact, I am reasonably sure that somewhere, someone has already used a drone to grab nude footage of their neighbor. It’s just that nobody’s been caught at it yet.

I think ‘peeping tom’ statues vary widely by locale, there isn’t a Federal Peeping Tom Codification Act; but my layman’s guess would be that the more evidence of preparedness there is, the worse it looks for you:

With the exception of cops huntin’ drugs and terrorists, in which case any electromagnetic emission visible from outside, howsoever subtle and sophisticated the sensors required to detect it are, has no expectation of privacy, hence FLIR and stingrays, I’d imagine that more lens=more guilty (both because DLSRs are well known as the tool of choice for terrorists staking out our vital infrastructure, while happy-snapper cameras mysteriously aren’t, hence the war on photography) and because you’d better have a very plausible story about birdwatching to avoid having your 800mm, motion-compensated, zoom lens and card full of ‘inadvertent’ shots of any open windows within two kilometers of your position just scream " mens rea and lots and lots of premeditation!"

Of course they will be. But we shouldn’t ban drones flying around for the same reason we haven’t banned binoculars, telescopes, and ridiculously large telephoto lenses. If you want to be perv your way to pervtown, those are going to be a lot less noticeable than a quadcopter buzzing like a swarm of bees outside your window.

There are good reasons to regulate drones, especially in populated areas. If one stops working 26 floors up, whoever it lands on is probably going to have a bad day. People using them to look through transparent materials that can already be looked through seems like more of an edge case.


The more reactions I read that are based in that, the less I am on the side of privacy advocacy against commercial drones.


Or, unless simulating where the new 20th floor windows will be, and takin a picture from there… where windows will soon be.

If building a building with windows there, and then taking pictures out them, would be legal, then flying a drone and taking pictures from the drone, in that airspace, is not significantly different.

The only thing disturbed was somebody’s sense of entitlement to an undisturbed view. Someday soon there will be people who are allowed to own cameras, in that same airspace, except it will be a building then. I recommend the upset party purchase the adjacent lot from which the drone was flown, to stop such an ‘outrage’.


That would make commercial air travel rather difficult.


As my mom would say, “Don’t flatter yourself.”