D.C. Circuit Dismisses ‪Drone‬ ‪Privacy‬ Rules Challenge

The D.C. Circuit on Tuesday said it would not review Electronic Privacy Information Center’s, a privacy watchdog, petition to the ‪#‎FAA‬ asking the agency to address privacy concerns raised by drone use. The court found that both of EPIC’s requests were untimely.

‪#‎EPIC‬ objected to FAA’s dismissal of its petition for the addition of drone privacy rules in a planned rule-making regarding ‪#‎drones‬ and the fact that the FAA left out privacy rules in a preliminary notice of proposed rulemaking. The D.C. Circuit found that review of EPIC’s rulemaking petition was time-barred and review of the lack of drone privacy regulations in the proposed rules is premature.

The D.C. Circuit was unpersuaded that the FAA’s letter denying the privacy watchdog’s rulemaking petition was ambiguous enough to constitute “reasonable grounds” for not filing a Petition for Review within 60 days pursuant to 49 USC 46110(a). Likewise, the court found that it simply does “not have the authority to review proposed agency rules.” EPIC would have to wait until the drone rules are finalized in order to have the court review them for not addressing privacy issues.


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