The answer is… yeah, we really might not know.
James Bertini found that out first hand Monday.
He and his wife were in the backyard of their home in the Baker neighborhood Monday night, when they spotted a drone buzzing above them.
“If the drone fell, it was quite high, it could have injured or killed somebody,” Bertini said.
Bertini’s wife went out in the alley and found two men operating the drone. He says his wife asked if they had a permit. They said they did, but wouldn’t show it to her.
“The drone operators showed her part of the video and she observed that they were indeed filming our property.”
The men said they were shooting video for Crazy Mountain Brewery, just a few doors down. We contacted the brewery, which said the contracted filmmakers were producing an internal promotional video and that video of Bertini’s property would not be included in that video.
“We certainly don’t want to see videos of us showing up somewhere on somebody’s website,” Bertini said from a chair in his garden Wednesday afternoon.
We were curious what you should do if you think someone is invading your privacy with a drone. We figured it’s a lot like it would be if someone was using binoculars to peer into your yard.
So we called Denver Police. Denver Police told us to call the FAA. The FAA said it had no authority over privacy issues. They forwarded us to another government agency. They provided us with a list of voluntary best practices.
That list of best practices suggests that drone users ask for consent before shooting video or collecting any sort of data about someone. It also suggests users follow any local, state or federal privacy laws.
“Unfortunately, no level of government has effectively dealt with this so we’re in a brave new world where unfortunately we’re on our own,” Bestini said.
And we think that sums it up best.