Drones Are Not Looking In Your Windows
There are many things that a drone can do and looking in your windows watching you undress is probably not one of them.
Sitting down this morning as the day’s news stories scrolled across my screen, one instantly stood out from KSPR a local ABC affiliate in Ozark, MO.
Ozark couple finds drone peeping in window
Now city could create new ordinance.
KSPR reporter Jonathan Wahl filed a report about a couple claiming they had found a drone Sunday morning “Peeping in their window.” The article is posted below and can be found on their website at: http://www.kspr.com/news/local/ozark-couple-finds-drone-peeping-in-window/21051620_35971168
A high tech peeping Tom — low cost drones could be making it easier for people to look through your window.
Frank Lorenz and his wife live in a second story loft on the Ozark square. They say on September 20th it happened to them.
“I walked out in my boxer shorts. Getting ready to start the coffee. My wife was coming in to join me and she had her robe on,” explained Lorenz.
It started out as a typical Sunday morning.
“As I walked in I looked out the window, and there was the drone staring at me,” he recalled.
But changed quickly. Lorenz said the drone was just a few feet from their window — and he could see what looked like a camera mounted to the device.
“My wife kind of let out ’huhh,’ pointed, at it and went ‘what in the heck, and it went off and disappeared.’”
Leaving them feeling violated.
“I don’t like my privacy being invaded, and you wouldn’t either, and if you have family you really wouldn’t want it.”
He and his wife went to the city to see if anything could be done. At the request of the city council, the city attorney drafted a possible new ordinance.
“To attempt to satisfy the concerns of the citizenry, about their expectations of privacy, within their own home, versus the potential commercial or other uses of these pieces of equipment,” explained David Collignon, attorney for the City of Ozark.
The first draft would have made it illegal to fly a drone within 400 feet of someone’s private property — that draft was shot down so Collignon went back to the drawing board and created another draft — one that focuses on anyone peering into a private window, with or without a drone. He said the city is in search of a balanced solution.
“There are legitimate uses for those. There are legitimate uses with in the city, in fact the City of Ozark is considering the acquisition of drones for not only law enforcement purposes, but also for planning and development purposes,” said Collignon.
Lorenz said as a realtor, he uses drones, and doesn’t want to see them gone — just regulated.
“Why do I have to put my curtains down, when I walk into my living room, with a pair of shorts on and my wife’s got a robe on? We just don’t expect somebody to have a camera. I’m not trying to be a hard guy. I just don’t expect a drone to be in my window,” said Lorenz.
One reason the City of Ozark is looking at a new ordinance is because drones are becoming more affordable — and they’re expected to be a hit this Christmas. It’s estimated close to a million will be sold before the New Year.
Drones are regulated by the federal aviation administration. On Monday, the FAA announced it will require unmanned aircraft to be registered.
The draft of the new ordinance has been given to city council members. They plan to discuss it during the next city council meeting on November 2.
The comment section is where it starts getting interesting. The moment I read this I called BS. This is a perfect example of media fear hype and a couple I believe to be doing a lot of truth stretching as I explained in my hasty response.
I’m sorry but what? I’m calling BS… first of all was there line of site to the drone? Whomever was flying it would have to almost be standing right there being close to a window. Plus they’re noisy as can be, AND it’s a fixed camera it’d be pointless unless you were right at the window, and even with GPS it’s going to drift around. These people are full of sh*t. Just like all the fake drone reports of them being near airports.
This was followed by several replies to the comment from various people whom both supported me, and obviously had no idea what they were talking about; “Sounds like you are blowing smoke, they fly over a 1000 feet away with the remote link to the camera so the pilot can see where the drone is. Good operator it can hover quite well and there is a window between the drone and the people so not so noisy. So story is more feasible then your excuses.”
They fly well over 1000 feet and I’m quite good at flying them. I’m not saying you can’t do it but honestly it’s not as easy as you think it would be. To really see anything you’d have to be very close and in the right position to the morning sun or you wouldn’t even see through a window. The problem is even in GPS mode they drift around a little so being that close there’s a good chance you’d run right into the house. Not to mention getting that close to a structure can cause electromagnetic interference causing you to lose control if you’re at a distance. You cannot fly these things around or behind things or you’ll completely lose signal. SO to even do it you’d have to be standing right there basically. What’s more feasible is this couple is probably known for complaining and exaggerating everything.
Drives me crazy, sadly just ends up like this… more rules, more regulation. (I’m all for registering drones, no problem.) Hey Jonathan Wahl, instead of just blindly reporting on what dumb people are up to, why not do a story on how you can’t spy on people through windows with commercial drones unless its pitch black outside and they have full lights on inside with the blinds wide open. And even then it wouldn’t even be that easy.
I’m not sure if any challenging questions were ever asked of the couple or how the city council of Ozark, MO is going to rule on Nov. 2. And while I agree with regulation and registration, this knee-jerk reaction to everything drone is not going to help is is doing nothing but hyping the let’s shoot them out of the sky in our family neighborhood crowd.