Feeds

Ban drones taking snaps of homes, rages Google boss... That's HIS job, right?

Damn it, we're gonna need a new irony detector

3 Big data security analytics techniques

Google supremo Eric Schmidt has demanded tough rules on civilians flying surveillance drones, branding the tech a threat to privacy.

The executive chairman of the internet advertising giant that snaps photos of millions of front doors worldwide is upset that cheap camera-toting aircraft can be used by anyone from terrorists to quarrelling neighbours: folks could use the flying gear to snoop on people next-door or, say, buzz a reviled neighbour's summer BBQ.

"How would you feel if your neighbour went over and bought a commercial observation drone that they can launch from their backyard. It just flies over your house all day. How would you feel about it?" asked Schmidt, whose company buys aerial photographs of the planet's surface and publishes them online for free.

The Google boss made the comments during an interview with The Guardian that was printed on Saturday.

Small remote-control drones, which can be fitted with cameras and other surprises, are readily available for hobbyists, businesses and governments. The kit can be deployed to track poachers, and cops have used the flying machines to locate marijuana farms and find fugitives, the Daily Mail adds.

The US Federal Aviation Administration is investigating how commercial drones may be safely introduced into US airspace. The tech is already used by military spooks to hunt and kill targets.

Schmidt wants tight controls if not an outright ban on the technology in private hands. "It's one thing for governments, who have some legitimacy in what they're doing, but have other people doing it ... it's not going to happen," he said.

The Google chief exec, who advises the Obama administration on technology issues, once famously said "if you have something that you don't want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn't be doing it in the first place" regarding the US government requesting access to citizens' search histories. He also blacklisted CNet for a year after its journalists published personal information about him hoovered up from, er, Google search results. ®

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
EU: Let's cost financial traders $400m a day, because EVIL BANKERS. Right?
Wait 'til this one hits your pension fund where it hurts
Systems meltdown plunges US immigration courts into pen-and-paper stone age
Massive outage could last four weeks, sources claim
Lavabit loses contempt of court appeal over protecting Snowden, customers
Judges rule complaints about government power are too little, too late
Don't let no-hire pact suit witnesses call Steve Jobs a bullyboy, plead Apple and Google
'Irrelevant' character evidence should be excluded – lawyers
Record labels sue Pandora over vintage song royalties
Companies want payout on recordings made before 1972
EFF: Feds plan to put 52 MILLION FACES into recognition database
System would identify faces as part of biometrics collection
Edward Snowden on his Putin TV appearance: 'Why all the criticism?'
Denies Q&A cameo was meant to slam US, big-up Russia
Ex-Tony Blair adviser is new top boss at UK spy-hive GCHQ
Robert Hannigan to replace Sir Iain Lobban in the autumn
Judge halts spread of zombie Nortel patents to Texas in Google trial
Epic Rockstar patent war to be waged in California
prev story

Whitepapers

Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.