As Drone Sales Soar, So Do Concerns Over Privacy

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) — Drone sales soared this holiday season and safety concerns rose as well.

Drones show the world from a new perspective but even as they push the limits, some drone-makers say it’s time to limit their capabilities to help their customers.

Willis Chung is the marking director for DJI which sells more drones than any other single manufacturer.  The company’s flight control app builds virtual fences around high-security locations where drones have caused problems before like airports and nuclear facilities. The app monitors a drone’s location using GPS and prevents it from crossing the invisible barriers indicated in red.

“We have certain restriction areas that’s built into the drone already, so you physically cannot go in there,” said Chung.

With permission from air traffic control, the technology was tested at Burbank Airport, in Los Angeles. As the drone headed toward the busy runway, the app flashed several warnings before hitting a wall. Once that happened, it only allowed the drone to go back and down, not up or out.

But DJI does allow customers to unlock restricted areas and most drone-makers don’t set flight restrictions at all so companies are using anti-drone technology to detect intruders and protect sensitive airspace.

This device jams a drone’s remote control signals – allowing federal authorities to take over. While another drone-mounted system shoots out a net to catch other drones mid-flight.

Law enforcement in the Netherlands is going low tech, using specially trained eagles to take down drones.

If you got a drone this holiday season, you have to register it with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) unless it’s under a half pound in size.

Click here for more information on drone use.

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