People have been making a fuss about the domestic use of drones recently. Now the drone industry has come up with a 'code of conduct' to ensure the public's safety and privacy. [Evil robot laugh drifts through the air.] Huh? What was that?
The Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International, which represents thousands of drone manufacturers all over the world released the document yesterday. It includes a pledge that the industry will ‘‘respect the privacy of individuals," along with guidelines like "We will be responsive to the needs of the public," and "we will not operate [drones] in a manner that presents undue risk to persons or property on the surface or the air."*
"We understand as an industry that we've got a public relations problem," one association member told the Associated Press.
That's nice and all, but it's not going to go far toward convincing a skeptical public, which largely believes we are hurtling toward a dystopian future where drones are omnipresent in American skies, beaming live surveillance film of citizens' every move to a shadowy Director, who stitches the best bits into a reality show to entertain Chinese real estate tycoons.
A much more savvy public relations move by the drone industry would be to show the vulnerable, human side of drones. Have drones star in a series of viral YouTube videos where they're caught in hilarious awkward situations—you know, mysteriously crashing, being hijacked by hackers.
*Offer not valid in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Yemen
[Image via Getty]