CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Calo on the Drone as Privacy Catalyst

Calo ryanM. Ryan Calo (University of Washington - School of Law) has posted  The Drone as Privacy Catalyst (Stanford Law Review Online, Vol. 64, pp. 29-33 (2011)) on SSRN. Here is the abstract:

Samuel Warren and Louis Brandeis could describe what a privacy violation looked like: sensational journalists armed with newly developed “instantaneous photographs” splashing pictures of a respectable wedding on the pages of every newspaper. Their influential 1890 article The Right To Privacy crystallized an image of technology-fueled excess, which the authors leveraged to jump-start privacy law in the United States. Today there is no story, no vivid and specific instance of a paradigmatic privacy violation in a digital universe, upon which citizens and lawmakers can premise their concern. The widespread domestic use of drones, however, may help restore our mental model of a privacy violation. They could be just the visceral jolt society needs to drag privacy law into the twenty-first century. The resulting backlash could force us to reexamine not merely the use of drones to observe, but the doctrines that today permit this use.

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