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Student Research Guide: Drones: A Social Threat: Home

Expanding Developing Technologies on UAV Platforms Pose Major Risks Across the Board

Introduction to the Topic

On an abstract basis, drones are classified as a disruptive technology that has the implications to be of great benefit in several applications such as military, law enforcement, consumer, and industrial. In fact, drones are one of the fastest growing technologies for surveillance and delivery with some industry leaders exploring ways to use drones as internet or cellular access points. Consumers use drones for novelty or racing and photography and industry uses are still being explored ranging from agriculture and chemical processing to search and rescue to entertainment production. This growing list of applications and the technologies to support these functions have created safety and security problems however.


Despite all the potential uses, drones primarily used by operators and consumers utilize radio frequencies such as the 802.11 standard with peripheral equipment such as cell phones for control and communications. Compounding this problem is the fact that several drones are equipped with technologies such as sophisticated thermal imaging or high resolution and zoom features or biometric technologies. With growing capabilities such as range, speed, and flight time or payload capacity and data input; and a growing integration of technologies, drones are on track to be as much of a threat to the population as much as a boon. This page seeks to understand some of these underlying technologies or issues to develop an understanding of the potential threats and resolutions in terms of the risk posed by or to these drones and their peripheral technologies on a law enforcement or consumer basis.

Keywords for searching the topic

  • Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV)
  • Unmanned Aerial System (UAS)
  • Micro Air Vehicles (MAV)
  • Nano Air Vehicle (NAV)
  • Remotely Piloted Vehicle (RPV)
  • Unmanned Ground Vehicle (UGV)
  • Unmanned Underwater Vehicle (UUV)
  • Drone
  • Law Enforcement
  • Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)
  • National Security Agency (NSA)
  • Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)
  • Consumer
  • Facial Recognition
  • Voice Recognition
  • Biometrics
  • Internet of Things (IoT)
  • Internet of Drones (IoD)
  • Privacy
  • Public Safety
  • Public Privacy

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Mostly a hypothetical, this article does however bring attention to several technologies including the focus of this research that are currently developed or in development.

The absolute basic understanding of this topic. 


Biometrics is a big and scary term that overarches a lot of data. In terms of this research, the keyword is still important and understanding what it is or how it is used is doubly so, but it is also important to understand what data can be collected in these platforms.

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