From Gizmodo [gizmodo.com]:
On Monday, the FAA will launch its online registry [gizmodo.com] for drone operators with the aim of collecting personal information from the owners of these unmanned aircraft. But according to a report from Forbes, all those names and addresses will eventually be publicly available. Which seems... kinda scary?
Over at Forbes [forbes.com], John Goglia says he's been poking the FAA for answers ever since the FAQ about registration [gizmodo.com] went up. Of particular concern are two contradictory statements from the FAA and DOT. The FAA says only their agency and a contractor will have access to the personal information collected. The DOT says that all information regarding registered aircraft must be made publicly available. So Goglia emailed the FAA until he got this answer:
"Until the drone registry system is modified, the FAA will not release names and address. When the drone registry system is modified to permit public searches of registration numbers, names and addresses will be revealed through those searches."
To me, despite the fact that I don't have a drone (nor do I plan on getting one), this is a very scary slippery slope that we are running down. Today it is a publicly searchable drone registry, what comes next? That I own a gun? My tax returns? How I voted in the last few elections? My medical history?
While I can see the want to keep tabs on drones that are able to carry cameras, and there are tremendous privacy concerns about it, having a database like this be publicly searchable is a VERY frightening prospect.