Here are my (scary) thoughts (note: I am generally paranoid about how people want to hack into e-comm systems that I am responsible for building, so I always think about these kinds of extremes):
IMPORTANT: if you do register, make sure to protect your registration number. Hide in within your drone and keep your certificate away from prying eyes. Why? Read on about some paranoid thoughts:
- A private company was contracted to rush deliver the Healthcare website. We know what happens when you rush the development of websites containing, potentially, hundreds of thousands of records of PII (personally identifiable information): it is usually not secure and poorly designed.
- In order to search the DB you will need the registration number. Hopefully the developers have figured out not to use sequential numbers and, instead, a UUID (trillions of combinations). If it sequential then I would never register. It would be too easy to mine the data and scrape it from the site. Here are some fun use cases if it is sequential:
- If sequential, write a script and mine the data. This can be done by marketing companies, law enforcement, hackers, foreign agencies, whatever.
- If the data can be mined (or simply guessed at what the algo was to create them) then someone, for sure, will just use your reg# on their drone.
- Other Use Cases/Thoughts:
- Take a photo of a drone and use the registration # on yours and do stupid things because you’re that kind of person. This can easily be done by someone 500 feet away with a reasonably good camera.
- Take revenge/prank on someone (like your neighbor who you don’t like)
- Hang out with drone groups and borrow a few of their reg numbers for your drones (seriously, there are people like this in the world). Some would rationalize that it is harmless to do this.
- I don’t believe there are rules for children? No age limits on flying drones. So, your kid registers and crashes and then some neighbor comes to your house looking for your kid?
- What is the proof that it was your doing or that there was an “incident”? Someone finds your drone on their property and calls the police? Is this automatically a crime? What are the police meant to do? I am pretty sure that ten of these calls in any community is going to cause that community to ban drones because the cost of responding to complaints when the police have better things to do is going to be too high.
- What about manufacturing problems? If a car has a problem they do a recall. If there’s a problem that causes a known malfunction, they are obligated to fix (that was half a joke). But they can be liable for these problems. Class action suit against DJI, anyone?
- Can a private company register a drone, even if not for commercial purposes? For example, some people create LLCs for their rental homes in order to create a liability buffer between them and their tenants. Would the law allow for proxy registrations to hide the information, at least from prying eyes?
Finally, who pays for all the lawyers and what tools and information are lawyers going to need to get you through trouble, or prove that someone else’s perception of the truth is accurate?