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What to Do about the South Philly Peeping “Tommy”?

RAIL: The Journal of Robotics, Artificial Intelligence & Law

Approaching the December holiday season in 2017, consumer sales experts estimated that as many as three million small unmanned aircraft systems (“UAS” or “drones”) would be shipped to purchasers in 2017. Others have projected that there will be over seven million drones operating in the United States by 2020. As such, the chance that you will more regularly see a drone flying nearby is strong and increasing in probability with every passing day. However, seeing the same drone from the ground as opposed to hovering just outside of your bedroom window is a whole other experience, and one that may become more common as drone use proliferates. Recently, bloggers in South Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, who were confronted with this disconcerting reality, took to the internet to alert others and discuss options for how to handle this “Peeping Tom” problem—a centuries-old issue that is being closely monitored by regulators and lawmakers as it evolves into a potential, unique 21st-century problem.

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“What to Do about the South Philly Peeping 'Tommy'?” by James J. Quinlan was published in the September–October 2018 edition of RAIL: The Journal of Robotics, Artificial Intelligence & Law (Vol. 1, No. 5), a Fastcase, Inc. publication. Reprinted with permission.