Drones and Surveillance: An Ethical Approach

The field of aerospace ethics has dealt with the impact of technology and actions of aircraft that fly in the skies above people and nations, recently focusing on the rise of drones. The drone’s function to gather surveillance has been a longtime focus for military applications but only recently has this ability been demanded by domestic agents such as law enforcement and the Department of Homeland Security. Yet in the case of domestic surveillance, no set of ethical guidelines has been established dictating how drones can perform surveillance and how the data collected can be used. The objective of this paper is to set a framework in which the rights of a person can be protected while also looking out for the good of the public. To establish this framework, this paper will examine drone surveillance under the rights and utilitarian ethics approaches before considering a mixed approach.

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