a post on the Foresdale Facebook page had this:
“Just wanting to let you about a possible peeping tom!!! My neighbours wife was sitting in her lounge about 9.00pm Friday night, when a drone with flashing lights on it and a CAMERA drop down in front of their lounge windows. She grabbed phone to ring cops and it took off immediately. Has anyone else has similar experience?”
this was accompanied with a photo of a DJI Mavic pro drone, which was not the device involved because the photo was taken in daylight. so what is not clear, is what the reported device was.
I have been using quadcopters (flying devices with four propellers), remotely piloted aircraft and drones for about 4 years. although I no longer use it I also have had a private pilots licence for over 40 years. I have a fair amount of knowledge of aviation rules, but most of what im writing here is my interpretation of the laws, as I know them. as the lawyers say, seek your own independent legal advice.
most people that have drones or quadcopters, that have cameras on them, use them responsibly. but just like all things in life, there are a few people that do the wrong thing and the whole issue of drones gets a bad reputation. I always do my best to respect people's privacy. I appreciate that most people would expect no one to be looking in their window. that is how it should be, but the legal system doesn't treat it that way. see more below.
The law to do with drones is administered by the Civil aviation safety authority.
Here is their interpretation of their laws:
They do NOT cover privacy, because CASA jurisdiction is about aviation safety not privacy. as it says on the above website privacy is covered by other, non CASA laws.
as this page shows:
privacy laws basically are only applicable to large organisations,NOT to individuals. and also maybe not applicable to media organisations. so an individual person flying a drone as was described above would not be breaking any privacy laws. but morally maybe doing something wrong. See more below.
If the devise in the above was less than 250 g then none of the drone CASA laws apply. most toy flying cameras are less than 250 g. also the latest technology which allows recording of 4K video from the most popular drone manufacturer in the world, DJI, is less than 250g
there exists some very small quadcopters that are only the size of a 20 cent coin. some of them also have cameras the size of a small fingernail.
even though you own your own property, the airspace around it is not private. if it was, aircraft would not be able to fly over your house. the airspace extends from the ground upwards,outside any buildings. it does not include the space inside your house or inside any buildings on your land.
therefore a flying camera, not being held by any body, is not in private space, and photographing or videoing with such a device in such circumstances is not illegal. just like it is not illegal for somebody to photograph or video through somebody's window with a very large zoom lens, whilst standing in a public street. also while Google Street view is not illegal
but this is not the perception that most people have. most people believe that if someone is looking in their window, they are doing so illegally. if thay were standing on somebody's property while doing that, they could be trespassing and it could be illegal. but if the person doing so is not standing on the person's property as can be done with a flying camera, then it's not illegal.
it's only because of the technology we now have, that it is possible to do things that law makers never thought of ever being capable of being done.
I would never fly my drone directly in front of somebodys window with the intention of spying on them or delberatly infringing their privacy, as regardless of the law, I feel that is morally wrong.
after reading a lot of websites and watching many videos about drones , I get the feeling that most drone operators have the same morals as I do.
it's impossible to create, and more importantly enforce laws to handle everybody's morals.
the Greenbank military camp is a designated restricted area for aviation. that means that drones over 250 g are not allowed to fly over it.
the designated restricted zone area of Greenbank military camp was set many years ago. hence it includes large parts of Forestdale, including the chase Forestdale drive Johnson road and part of Robin Court.
the reason the Greenbank military camp was set as a restricted area is because they occasionally do live firing their and it could be possible for a stay bullet or a large explosion, to damage an aircraft, with a possible loss of life or injury
present drones don't carry people, so there is very little likelihood of a drone being shot down, causing a loss of life or injury
yet that law still exists.
just shows how laws with demarcation lines can have unexpected consequences