Unmanned Aerial Vehicles—Privacy and SafetyPublished on 5 November 2014 Your Question Period by Senator Jim Munson
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Hon. Jim Munson:
Honourable senators, don’t you like those questions from ordinary Canadians? Thank you to the Leader of the Government in the Senate. These questions from ordinary Canadians are opening things up. Did you see the article last week in the Ottawa Citizen, the op-ed piece about opening up the Senate? That was pretty interesting and positive of having Canadians asking these questions, I thought. It’s good reading for all of us, particularly our members opposite. It shows that we’re doing things differently in the Senate, not to mention in our open caucus. Just thought that I would throw that in. It’s nice.
Mr. Leader, I have a question from Mr. Matthew Dillon-Leitch of Markham, Ontario, concerning drones and the impact on privacy.
Just for background, honourable senators, drones, also known as unmanned aerial vehicles or UAVs, are increasingly being used for military, commercial and recreational purposes. With a growing number of reports of drones buzzing around outside apartment windows and over backyards, Canadians like Mr. Dillon-Leitch are increasingly concerned about their impact on privacy, and he has submitted the following questions:
Currently, Transport Canada is responsible for managing and regulating drones for civil and commercial purposes. Existing legislation, however, focuses on air safety without addressing privacy concerns. Considering the growing popularity of unmanned aerial vehicles across Canada, what is the government doing to ensure that a reasonable expectation of privacy is protected?
Why are drones permitted to fly and assist in surveillance without the necessary laws and regulations in place to respect the privacy of Canadians?
How would a Canadian even report such a crime if the operator of the device was out of sight and lacked any visual signifiers?
Oh, one other question from Mr. Dillon-Leitch:
What is the government doing to ensure that Canadians have recourse if their privacy is invaded by drones and their operators?