Drones cause privacy concerns and dangers - WNEM TV 5


Drones cause privacy concerns and dangers

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Drones have been catching people's eyes around Saginaw Township's Roger's Hobby Center.

"The amount of change that I've seen in the last 10 years, from not even being able to imagine these, to them being some of our top sellers is phenomenal," said Brian Schneider, with Roger's Hobby Center.

The I-Team discovered new questions come with that new technology.

As part of the process of flying a drone, you can stream video right back to your smart phone, but that's where the safety and privacy concerns kick in.

Anyone looking to fly a drone around for fun can come into Roger's and purchase one, ranging from $30 to more than $1,000, without needing any special license.

"Being a peeping Tom for example, it's not any less legal with a drone than it is having someone hide outside your window. I suppose somebody could be concerned with privacy fences, and sunbathing in your backyard, so that is some concern," Schneider said.

To try to cut down on possible no-nos, the I-Team discovered the FAA does have some guidelines in place.

You're expected to fly below 400 feet and keep the drone in your line of sight. You can't get in the way of airplanes or fly within five miles of an airport. Don't fly near a stadium or a drone weighing more than 55 pounds.

Even with those rules, as the I-Team found out, you can still expect significant issues if you're not careful.

"I set it up, started it up, and it attacked me," said Gary Wilson, flies and builds drones.

Wilson has first hand experience with the dangers associated with them.

"It came right up, just cut my jacket, cut my hand, they're dangerous," he said.

Inside Roger's they know the dangers full-well too.

"It's always up to the operator to know how to fly it and how to control it and make sure it isn't going to hit a power line, or a tree, or even a person," Schneider said.

Flying a drone is far from child's plays. You may be at the throttle, some would prefer you not to spread your wings.

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