Drones are a relatively new bit of technology, as well as a hot topic for security debate. This isn’t surprising, as just about every new technology falls under the scrutiny of security debate, ranging from arguments for increased safety to wild accusations that the robots will finally destroy us.
Whichever way you sway, there are legitimate arguments on both sides.
Safer Public Events
Massive public events are clear benefactors of this technology. Think about the largest sporting events in the world, such as World Cup or the Olympics. Maintaining a watchful eye on that scale of crowds is a task no human can properly perform without the help of technology. Drones take our progress in aerial technology to another level, given that a human is no longer needed to fly in the device, and can thus be smaller and reach spaces that otherwise have been unavailable.
Law Enforcement Improvements
Last spring, Michigan State Police Department became the first police department to receive federal approval to use drones for improving law enforcement efforts. This particular drone, Aeryon SkyRanger, is intended to be used for purposes such as investigating traffic collisions, suspected arson, improving search and rescue efforts, inspecting natural disasters, and more. Since then, an increasing number of state and local law enforcement operations are gaining approval for drone usage, such as departments in California, Texas, Washington, Florida and more.
Decreased Privacy + Security
This is likely the most pressing concern citizens, and governing agencies have concerning drone usage. Drones are devices that can help investigate situations to keep them safe, but through the same logic can investigate situations to bring harm. On a civil level, potential thieves can use drones for investigating security used to protect a location to learn how to bypass it. On a governing level, states are susceptible to espionage for incalculable harm and security breaches.
As a technological device, drones operate given a set of computed instructions created by a human. Protecting that intended usage is one of the greatest threats to any device, as hackers can bypass original intentions and gain access to drones that aren’t theirs. While the drones tasked with the most sensitive of security measures are surely protected from hacking to some degree, it is impossible to state that a drone – just like any technology – can be 100% unhackable.
Drones are an exciting advancement in technology given the potential benefits for law enforcement and public events, but still bring with them security concerns and hacking potential. As this technology continues to gain popularity, attention, and growth, only time will tell if drones bring with them more protection or harm.