27 March 2013
FAA Hosts Drone Test Privacy Protection Meeting
[FR Doc. 2013-07280 Filed 03/27/2013 at 8:45 am; Publication Date: 03/28/2013]
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Federal Aviation Administration
14 CFR Part 91
[Docket No.: FAA-2013-0061]
Public Meeting: Unmanned Aircraft Systems Test Site Program; Privacy Approach
AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration.
ACTION: Notice of public engagement session.
SUMMARY: The FAA will be holding a public engagement session on Wednesday,
systems (UAS) test site program. The FAA is seeking the views from the public
with respect to proposed privacy language to be included in agreements with
each test site operator.
DATES: The session will be held via teleconference on Wednesday, April 3,
2013, beginning at 12 noon Eastern Daylight Savings Time and ending no later
than 2 p.m. Eastern Daylight Savings Time.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Gregory C. Carter, Office of the Chief Counsel,
Federal Aviation Administration, 800 Independence Ave., SW., Washington,
DC 20591; email: 9-AGC-UASPrivacy[at]faa.gov.
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This document is a follow-on to a Notice of
availability and request for comments published in the Federal Register on
February 22, 2013 (78 FR 12259), Docket No. FAA-2013-0061. In that document,
the agency described its proposed privacy plan for the UAS test site program
and requested comments on that proposal.
The agency also stated that it would provide details (including the date
and time) for the engagement session sufficiently in advance of the meeting
to facilitate broad participation. This document provides those details.
The agency will post information on how to register for the public meeting
when all details are finalized.
This website will also provide instructions on how to participate in the
engagement session. As to the meeting itself, the FAA will provide an overview
of the FAAs UAS Test Site Program (including Section 322 (c) of the
FAAs Reform and Modernization Act of 2012) and the proposed privacy
The agency may also invite short statements from one to two representatives
from advocacy interest groups and the UAS industry. After the introductory
statements and overview, the FAA will take comments from participants regarding
the agencys proposed privacy plan that would apply to each UAS test
site selected under the program. At some later time, after considering comments
made during the engagement session as well as comments received during the
comment period, FAA will notify the public about any further action the agency
intends to take.
BACKGROUND: On February 14, 2012, Congress mandated that the FAA, coordinating
with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the Department
of Defense, develop a test site program for the integration of unmanned aircraft
systems in to the National Airspace System. The overall purpose of this test
site program is to develop a body of data and operational experiences to
inform integration and the safe operation of these aircraft in the National
On Friday, February 22, 2013, the FAA published in the Federal Register a
Notice of availability and request for comment soliciting comments on the
FAAs proposed approach for addressing the privacy questions raised
by the public and Congress with regard to the operation of unmanned aircraft
systems within the test site program (78 FR 12259). The proposed privacy
requirements for which comments are requested are as follows:
(1) The Site Operator must ensure that there are privacy policies governing
all activities conducted under the OTA [Other Transaction Agreement], including
the operation and relevant activities of the UASs authorized by the Site
Operator. Such privacy policies must be available publically, and the Site
Operator must have a mechanism to receive and consider comments on its privacy
policies. In addition, these policies should be informed by Fair Information
Practice Principles. The privacy policies should be updated as necessary
to remain operationally current and effective. The Site Operator must ensure
the requirements of this paragraph are applied to all operations conducted
under the OTA.
(2) The Site Operator and its team members are required to operate in accordance
with Federal, state, and other laws regarding the protection of an
individuals right to privacy. Should criminal or civil charges be filed
by the U.S. Department of Justice or a states law enforcement authority
over a potential violation of such laws, the FAA may take appropriate action,
including suspending or modifying the relevant operational authority (e.g.,
Certificate of Operation, or OTA), until the proceedings are completed. If
the proceedings demonstrate the operation was in violation of the law, the
FAA may terminate the relevant operational authority.
(3) If over the lifetime of this Agreement, any legislation or regulation,
which may have an impact on UAS or to the privacy interests of entities affected
by any operation of any UAS operating at the Test Site, is enacted or otherwise
effectuated, such legislation or regulation will be applicable to the OTA,
and the FAA may update or amend the OTA to reflect these changes.
(4) Transmission of data from the Site Operator to the FAA or its designee
must only include those data listed in Appendix B to the OTA. (Appendix B
to the OTA is available as part of the SIR [Screening Information Request]
The FAA anticipates that test site operator privacy practices as discussed
in their privacy policies will help inform the dialogue among policymakers,
privacy advocates, and the industry regarding broader questions concerning
the use of UAS technologies. The privacy requirements proposed here are
specifically designed for the operation of the UAS Test Sites. They are not
intended to pre-determine the long-term policy and regulatory framework under
which commercial UASs would operate. Rather, they aim to assure maximum
transparency of privacy policies associated with UAS test site operations
in order to engage all stakeholders in discussion about which privacy issues
are raised by UAS operations and how law, public policy, and the industry
practices should respond to those issues in the long run.
Issued in Washington D.C. on March 21, 2013.
Assistant Chief Counsel, Acquisition and Fiscal Law Division
Federal Aviation Administration