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Pardon My Drone

If we think about drones, we probably think about remote controlled assassination machines manned by the Mossad or “fly-through” tours of the homes of the rich and famous.  What we (or at least I) didn’t think about were artificially intelligent police drones that can be sent out by 911 dispatchers to the scene of the crime and follow the bad guys around until they do something they can be arrested for.  At least four U.S. cities currently use these remotely-controlled – and self-controlled – investigation tools. No more out-of-shape cops trying to climb chain link fences in hot pursuit of more fit criminals!  Hill Street Drones.

Drones use is now exploding in creativity. “Dehogifier” drones with heat sensors will tell you when wild hogs are destroying your crops. The Spotify Party Drone hovers over you in line at festivals to play your favorite songs. Russia and China are using drones disguised as birds.

Which started me thinking.  Now that smart drones have utterly transformed warfare and policing, not to mention real estate, what’s next? I have ideas:

  • Gecko Cam: GEICO Insurance customers are astounded to see their rates increase after the insurance carrier famous for its British spokeslizard deploys smart drones to watch your driving habits.  No word whether they will be disguised as pterodactyls or flying dragon lizards.  GEICO’s got you covered.

  • The Daddy Drone: Helicopter parenting is so 2000.  Just program the Daddy Drone with your daughter’s favorite haunts and voila! No need to prowl the neighborhood with your lights off or to wake up her BFF’s parents to cross-check her alibi. Integrate with Alexa or Siri and you can ground your kid from the comfort of your bed in a variety of celebrity voices!

  • Poli-Sci Fi: Did your favorite candidate just narrowly lose an election?  Are you a civic-minded soul who just wants every legal vote counted (as long as it was for your candidate)?  Well, no need to stand around all day in costume and argue with your neighbors; let your drone do the dirty work.  Available in red, white and blue.

  • Karen Camera: Are you tired of enforcing the homeowner association rules from your minivan?  Have you been assaulted by threatening bird watchers and need the proof before calling 911?  Smile, you’re on Karen Camera!

  • The Gym Rat: Who didn’t wipe down the elliptical?  Who left those wet towels all over the locker room?  You did and we can prove it.  Your gym membership just became a little more expensive.  Feel the burn.

Copyright © 2023 Womble Bond Dickinson (US) LLP All Rights Reserved.National Law Review, Volume X, Number 343

About this Author

Philip Gura, Womble Dickinson Law Firm, Atlanta, Cybersecurity Law Attorney
Senior Division Counsel

Phil Gura has more than 30 years of experience helping companies manage privacy, data security, governance and regulatory compliance challenges. For the past 15 years, he has served as the Chief Legal Officer of major corporations, including Merchant Customer Exchange LLC (MCX), RaceTrac Petroleum Inc. and LaRoche Industries, Inc. His in-house experience includes managing and directing corporate governance, regulatory/compliance, privacy/ data security and intellectual property efforts.

Phil most recently served as Chief Legal Officer of Sionic...