Kevin Pomfret is a lawyer and a former satellite imagery analyst with the U.S. government. He has been working with and on geospatial information for more than 25 years. He is the Founder and Executive Director of the Centre for Spatial Law and Policy and President of GeoLaw, P.C.
As unmanned aerial systems (UAS) become more prevalent in the skies, the United States is engaged in spirited conversation about their impact on the constitutional guarantees of privacy and free speech. Over the next 10 years, tens of thousands of these vehicles could be safely darting in our national airspace, providing a wealth of valuable services to homeowners, ranchers, farmers, journalists and businesses. Many of these vehicles will be equipped with remote sensing technology enabling the identification of individuals. This technological leap forward brings with it challenges to our concept of “privacy” and “free speech” our society has not yet faced.