In This Sky, The Planes Fly Alone

Fellow Ryan Calo is quoted by Malia Wollan in this New York Times article regarding current privacy concerns for drones and the limitations on both the constitutional and subconstitutional level to deal with them.

A father of five and a professed geek, Chris Anderson, editor in chief of Wired magazine, is always looking for child-friendly activities that could, he hopes, inculcate his children with techie sensibilities.

So one weekend in 2007, Mr. Anderson brought home a model radio-controlled airplane and a Lego Mindstorms robotics kit. Soon he and the children put the two toys together, making the Lego robot fly the plane. The result was a clunky Lego drone.

His children moved on to other playthings. But Mr. Anderson was captivated. And that led him to found an online network for amateur drone enthusiasts, DIY Drones, and to co-found a new business, 3D Robotics, which features an online store for those hobbyists.


“The hobbyists are of less concern from a privacy perspective, but I am worried about surveillance of certain parts of cities by law enforcement using drones as though we were somehow in the theater of war,” said Ryan Calo, director of the Consumer Privacy Project at Stanford Law School. “And I’m worried about the inadequacy of privacy law at a constitutional and subconstitutional level to deal with that.”