Game of Drones: The Invisible Surveillance and Protection of Fundamental Right to Privacy in India

  • Ankita Sharma and Hiya Das
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  • Ankita Sharma

    Research Scholar at North-Eastern Hill University, Shillong, Meghalaya

  • Hiya Das

    Research Scholar at North-Eastern Hill University, Shillong, Meghalaya

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The rise of technological innovation and advancement has reached new levels of progressive development. One hallmark of this development is drones. Drones, or unmanned aerial vehicles, are a legion of modern day technology which are capable of flying; and whose capabilities increase, with reduction in cost, by the day. Whether remotely controlled or via an application, they have the capability of reaching remote places, hence why they are being incorporated into various sectors. Globally, drones are used for security monitoring, checking borders, surveillance, and storm tracking. However, these advancements are not bereft of the possibilities of being misused and inflicting damage that they usher in with their introduction. The surveillance function of drones, raises some serious concerns about infringement of citizen’s fundamental right to privacy and warrantless search and seizure concerns in the course of conducting their duty and business respectively. To regulate on drone usage in India notified Drone Rules, 2021 which details out the application and registration process to be followed by the interested parties for the allotment of a Unique Identification Number (UIN) for operating a drone. Though the new Drone Rules, 2021 is a welcoming step in encouraging the usage of drones in the country, however, the rules fall short of addressing remedies to privacy harms. There is no mention of the privacy safeguards in the rules. The rules have clearly failed to provide and guarantee the right to privacy as it was held in the Puttaswamy judgment. These lacunae in the present Rules coupled with the conflicting interests of all stakeholders need to be harmonized to prevent excessive government and third party intrusions into an individual’s privacy.


Research Paper


International Journal of Law Management and Humanities, Volume 5, Issue 3, Page 2204 - 2217


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