Phoenix drone ordinance protects individual rights, promotes commercialization

I am demanding that your privacy is protected in a city of Phoenix “Drone Ordinance.”

Sal DiCiccio

Sal DiCiccio

Our privacy is threatened by the increasing use of cameras including their use on drones that are proliferating due to their low cost and ease of use. Unmanned Aircraft Vehicles and Unmanned Aircraft Systems, present a rapidly growing technology that offers great promise for commercialization and yet pose great risks to privacy and public safety.

The city of Phoenix is developing a UAV/UAS ordinance and a City Council resolution that will guide city drone policy development and implementation. Phoenix’s UAV/UAS Ordinance initial draft was passed unanimously in the Public Safety Subcommittee and a working group was formed to finalize research and drafting.

The ordinance and resolution have the following objectives:

  • Protect citizens’ privacy, civil rights and civil liberties
  • Preserve public safety
  • Promote commerce and innovation
  • Implement best practices for city government accountability and transparency

The city of Phoenix’s resolution will set longterm policies to protect our citizens’ privacy, civil rights and civil liberties by seeking to prohibit the collection and use of data collected by UAV/UAS’s in any manner that would violate the First Amendment or discriminate against citizens. It will strive to ensure UAV/UAS activities are performed in a manner consistent with the United States Constitution, the Constitution of the State of Arizona, Arizona state law and all city of Phoenix policies and ordinances.

The resolution will additionally adopt procedures to receive, investigate and address privacy, civil rights and civil liberty complaints to provide a way to respond to new UAV/UAS uses that may threaten our freedoms.

We want Phoenix’s UAV/UAS ordinance to be a comprehensive model that can be used by the state of Arizona, and nationally in other cities and states. To accomplish that we have engaged and received input from key stakeholder groups. The groups include journalists, civil rights leaders, civil libertarians groups (ACLU, Goldwater Institute), public safety, congressional experts, businesses including real estate related organizations and sports franchises to ensure Phoenix has a model law that serves all of its citizens and business community well.

The city of Phoenix UAV/UAS Ordinance and Resolution moves our city to the national forefront of protecting citizens’ rights while promoting commercialization of a new technology.

Editor’s note: Mr. DiCiccio represents District 6 on Phoenix City Council

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