Multi-Stakeholder Group Finalizes Agreement on Best Practices for Drone Use




May 18, 2016

Contact: Melanie Bates, Director of Communications, [email protected]




Washington, DC – Today, a wide range of privacy groups and industry stakeholders participating in the National Telecommunications & Information Administration (NTIA) Multi-Stakeholder process concerning privacy, transparency, and accountability issues regarding commercial and private use of unmanned aircraft systems (drones) agreed on a set of best practices.

The best practices are intended to encourage operators to use this technology in a responsible, ethical, and respectful way. They provide enough flexibility to support innovative uses of this emerging technology, but at the same time provide firm privacy standards. The best practices acknowledge that the principles are qualified by the understanding that they are to be implemented as “reasonable” and “practical” – in order to allow flexibility for smaller operators, hobbyists or circumstances where compliance would be impractical. The full best practices document is available here.  The Future of Privacy Forum (FPF) has created an easy to read summary of the best practices to help educate drone operators that can be found here.

“Drones are already being used for search and rescue and to assist farmers, home contractors, photographers, newsgatherers, and may soon be used for wireless internet and delivery. These standards will help ensure these technologies are deployed with privacy in mind,” said Jules Polonetsky, CEO, FPF. “This agreement is also a great boost for self-regulation and multi-stakeholder efforts and demonstrates that with good leadership industry and advocates can come together to advance responsible practices.”

The list of groups supporting the best practices includes, Amazon, AUVSI, Center for Democracy and Technology, Consumer Technology Association, CTIA, FPF, Intel, X (formerly Google X), New America’s Open Technology Institute, PrecisionHawk, SIIA, Small UAV Coalition, and a wide range of news media organizations.


The Future of Privacy Forum (FPF) is a Washington, DC based think tank that seeks to advance responsible data practices. Learn more about FPF’s work by visiting