By: Dallas Morning News
WASHINGTON — Who wouldn’t want unmanned drones speeding toward their house bearing the bounty of their Cyber Monday shopping binge?
Rep. Ted Poe, R-Humble, that’s who. He’s fired up about Amazon’s recently-announced plan to use drones to deliver orders straight to customers.
“It sounds like something out of the Jetsons, doesn’t it?” Poe asked today on the House floor. “Think about how many drones could be flying around the sky. Here a drone, there a drone, everywhere a drone. Who’s watching out for the privacy of American citizens?”
Amazon’s Jeff Bezos announced the ambitious plan, called Prime Air, Sunday. He said the company hopes to have drone delivery up and running in major cities in five years. The drones would deliver products up to five pounds in as little as 30 minutes. Such packages represent 86 percent of Amazon’s sales.
Critics like Poe have raised a number of issues with the plan, from basic safety concerns to worries about privacy.
Poeused Amazon’s announcement to pushthe Preserving American Privacy Act, legislation he introduced in February. The legislation seeks to prevent individuals and businesses from using drones for photography and other surveillance. It would also prohibit the government from using drones for surveillance without a warrant. The bill is currently in the House Judiciary Committee.
“Congress has to make sure that the use of drones in the future does not infringe on the right of individual citizens to privacy,” Poe said. “Just because big brother or private companies can look through a person’s windows doesn’t mean they should be able to.”