Information Privacy and its Importance

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Topic: Information privacy and its importance

Specific Purpose: What are drones? How are they used domestically? Why does the general public fear them?

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“Information Privacy and its Importance”

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  1. Attention Getter: Today the government is spying on Americans in ways the founders of our country never could have imagined. The FBI, federal intelligence agencies, the military, state and local police, private companies, and even firemen and emergency medical technicians are gathering incredible amounts of personal information about ordinary Americans that can be used to construct vast dossiers that can be widely shared through new institutions like Joint Terrorism Task Forces, fusion centers, and public-private partnerships. This surveillance often takes place in secret, with little or no oversight by the courts, by legislatures, or by the public. (ACLU)
  2. Relevance: Drone manufacturers are looking for civilian uses for remote sensing drones to expand their markets and this includes the use of drones for domestic surveillance. Drones will no doubt make possible the dramatic expansion of the surveillance state. With the convergence of other technologies it has been made possible for machine recognition of faces, behaviors, and the monitoring of individual conversations. The sky, so to speak, is the limit.

III.        Credibility: The history of domestic surveillance begins with the 4th Amendment in 1791 and continues today with the Patriot Act. The catalyst for the Patriot Act occurred with the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, spreading fear of future attacks on American soil among the people as well as every government agency. The Patriot Act allows the government to gather information without a warrant from foreign and domestic alike.

  1. Thesis: The fear of terrorism has led to a new era of surveillance activity which is not directed solely at suspected terrorists and criminals; it is directed at all of us. Increasingly, the government is engaged in surveillance that vacuums up and tracks sensitive information about innocent people. One of the main tools used to collect such information is gathered by drones. To better understand how surveillance is gathered by drones, we have to understand what drones are.


  1. Drones; small, unmanned, aerial devices.
  2. The term drone has many negative connotations based on combative uses. Recon drones are not the lethal, military killing machines that you hear about being used overseas, but unmanned aerial vehicles ranging in sizes from a humming bird to a small plane. (ROV systems)
  3. Drones can be outfitted with surveillance equipment that includes audio and visual capabilities, can be bought virtually by anyone, and can be flown legally throughout the country.

Transition: Now that we understand what drones are I want to go over the civilian application of drones in the U.S.

  1. Tremendous benefits of drones and responsible use of technology
  2. Agricultural inspections: they’re a great way to do aerial surveys of crops. This way, farmers can see if their irrigation systems are working, how their plants are growing, even see if any of the plants are sick by using infrared technology. (ROV)
  3. Policing and border patrol: Police departments across the country are buying drones that they can use for surveillance and related activity and even the FBI is using them.
  4. Photography, monitor national disasters, delivering medication and food at low costs, etc.

Transition: Looking into the future, drones are capable of even saving lives. Why do people fear them?

III.        Intelligent regulations to insure the safety and privacy of the general public

  1. Most people immediately think of military applications
  2. INVASION OF PRIVACY! In 2012 Congress passed a law requiring the FAA to come up with a plan so that the commercial and privately owned drones could be authorized to share the national airspace by 2015. Nothing in the law states anything about personal privacy. (Congress)
  3. Violation of the 4th Amendment. Indiscriminate surveillance remains a goal for some in local government but that is hoping for the best. The technology is not the problem, it is the people who use it and how they use it.


  1. Thesis Summary: Regulation of private drone use must be crafted with a recognition that drones not only make possible new types of crime, but make it much easier to commit others. Just as problems of stalking have become more prolific in the online context, a jealous ex or a grudge-holding competitor could deploy his personal drone to follow someone throughout her day without leaving his desk. Offenses like stalking, harassment, blackmail, and invasions of privacy could be committed more easily, covertly, and anonymously with the use of drones. Law enforcement will need to adopt strategies to counter this trend. In short, drones make it easier for citizens to invade each other’s privacy, both in ways that current laws recognize and in others that it does not.
  2. Memorable Closing: A comical quote from the artist, public activist and freedom fighter, Banksy, I don’t know why people are so keen to put the details of private life in the public; they forget that invisibility is actually a superpower.


  1. ACLU, “Donate to Protect Your Civil Liberties Now.” American Civil Liberties Union. N.p., n.d. Web. Nov. 2014.
  2. Congress, “Bill Text112th Congress (2011-2012)H.R.658.ENR.” Bill Text. N.p., 15 Feb. 2012. Web. Nov. 2014.
  3. Epic, “EPIC – Electronic Privacy Information Center.” EPIC. N.p., n.d. Web. Nov. 2014.
  4. NPR, “As Drones Fly In Cities And Yards, So Do The Complaints.” NPR. NPR, n.d. Web. Nov. 2014.
  5. ROV, “Aerial Video and Photography.” ROVSystems LLC. N.p., n.d. Web. Nov. 2014
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Information Privacy and Its Importance. (2020, Mar 06). Retrieved February 6, 2023 , from

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