Ensuring Privacy and Security in Drone Delivery: Key Considerations

As drone delivery continues transforming the logistics industry with efficiency and convenience, it is crucial to prioritize privacy and security considerations.

In this article, we’ll delve into the laws and regulations governing privacy and security. How can companies harness the potential of unmanned aerial vehicles to streamline operations and meet consumer demand for swift delivery while putting public safety first?

Privacy and Security Concerns

First, let’s identify the key concerns. In terms of safety, drones risk colliding with another aircraft or crash landing in a populated space and harming people or property. These accidents could arise from a drone losing connection with the operator on the ground or hackers penetrating the software and diverting it from its original flight path.

Meanwhile, because delivery drones travel over private space and are equipped with cameras and sensors to aid navigation, they pose a risk to privacy. In addition, drone delivery services must address the same privacy considerations as any other logistics company, namely the responsible collection, storage, and use of personal data.

It’s crucial to address these concerns to safeguard the public. As well, consumer acceptance of drone delivery will ultimately depend on popular perceptions of safety and security. McKinsey recently surveyed approximately 4,800 people worldwide to gain insight into attitudes toward drone delivery. Over 40 percent of respondents identified safety as a concern, with the invasion of privacy as the second most widely cited issue.

Understanding Regulations

The first step in mitigating the risks outlined above is to have a clear understanding of the regulations and laws governing drone use. In Canada, the primary regulatory body is Transport Canada, which sets out the rules and guidelines for operating drones for both personal and commercial use in Part IX of the Canadian Aviation Regulations (CARs). Key requirements include drone pilot certificates and drone registration for aircraft over 250g in weight, and corporations face penalties of up to $15,000 for putting aircraft and people at risk.

In addition, other regulations must be respected. For example, the sections of the Criminal Code covering Offences against Air or Maritime Safety, Breaking and Entering, and Mischief also apply to drone flight.

It’s also important to understand privacy laws protecting individuals’ personal information. In Canada, this is covered by the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA), which applies to any materials obtained by drone. Drone companies and their commercial partners must act responsibly when collecting, using, and disclosing personal information.

Implementing Secure Flight Paths

Implementing secure flight paths is one of the main considerations for ensuring privacy and security in drone delivery. As the drone delivery market grows, there will be increasing numbers of vehicles in the same airspace. Regulators worldwide are responding to this by creating new drone corridors such as the 50-mile corridor in New York in the US and the so-called “superhighway” in the Midlands in the UK.

In Canada, there are strict regulations governing where drones can operate. Before any flight, operators must consult the Notice to Airmen (NOTAMs) for information about any events that may impact their route. Only authorized pilots may operate in controlled airspace. Meanwhile, drones are restricted in certain areas: Drones can only fly within certain distances of airports, for example, and must avoid emergency sites and advertised events such as outdoor concerts.

Advances in technology are helping to mitigate the risk of accidents in the air, ensuring that drones can operate safely in compliance with beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) regulations. Drone Delivery Canada has implemented a detect and avoid system on its Care by Air delivery route, using radar and sensors to avoid obstacles and prevent collisions.

Safeguarding Customer Data

While drones equipped with cameras flying over private property are an obvious concern, data protection is also of paramount importance. Businesses must prioritize the secure collection, storage, and transfer of customer data, including delivery addresses, contact details, and purchase history.

Implementing strong security measures and providing data security training for all personnel are industry best practices that effectively reduce the risk of data breaches.

Concluding Thoughts

By adhering to privacy regulations and addressing privacy concerns, companies can build trust, mitigate risks, and create a safe and secure environment for successful drone delivery operations.

Drone Delivery Canada is pioneering a secure drone logistics solution for government agencies, communities, and companies thanks to our industry-leading technology and relentless focus on safety. We have been certified as a compliant operator by Transport Canada since 2017 and were the first publicly traded drone delivery company to be granted a domestic cargo license under the Canada Transportation Act and Air Transport Regulation.

To find out more about our disruptive technology and how it can help your company ensure safe and secure drone delivery, get in touch with our team today.