PEEPING into people’s homes with a drone is not a violation of privacy laws.
Lawmaker Michael Tien Puk-sun (田北辰) confirmed with the Office of the Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data (香港個人資料私隱專員公署) that under existing laws, this is not an ‘invasion of privacy’ so long as no recording is being made. Additionally, if a video does not show any distinctive characteristics that others can recognise, such as the face or a bodytattoo, then it is not a violation of privacy, he added.
Tien told a radio talk show this after three men were picked up for fl ying drones during the recent Formula E race.
In a Facebook posting, Tien said he had received complaints from Sham Tseng (深井) and Tsing Lung Tau (青龍頭) that drones were buzzing homes. Residents were worried about their privacy.
Tien had also asked police how a report should be made if a drone was operated outside his window while he was taking a bath. He was told under that current regulations the drone owner would not commit an offence if the drone was lighter than seven kilograms and did not threaten anyone’s safety.
Tien urged the Civil Aviation Department (民航處) and the Privacy Commissioner to review laws relating to drones as soon as possible.
Barrister Craig Choy-ki said a drone owner might be charged with ‘using a computer with dishonest intent’ if the drone was connected to or controlled by a computer device including mobile phone, or if the drone has a CPU or structures of a computer device.
(This article is published on Junior Standard on 12 December 2017)
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