Ensure strict checks, licensing measures for use of drones

It is undeniable that drone technology will help government agencies improve their operations and enhance productivity in many respects ("Govt bodies to ride drone wave with new regime" and "Drones can check for mozzies, assist in search-and-rescue efforts"; both published last Friday).

Bodies such as the National Environment Agency and Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore have been using drones to good effect. However, I hope that there are strict checks and licensing in place on the use of drones.

The possible abuse by would-be terrorists and criminals must be considered seriously. There have been reported breaches in places like the United States, Australia and Germany.

Also, what assurance do we have that drone usage will not be abused to pry into the privacy of citizens?

I hope the legal framework for abuses and breaches will also be spelt out, as the use of these drones becomes more pervasive in both the private and public sectors.

S. Kumar

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 10, 2016, with the headline 'Ensure strict checks, licensing measures for use of drones'. Print Edition | Subscribe