NYPD to test emergency public announcement drones


An anonymous reader cited a report from Motherboard: [T]He announced that the NYPD Piloting drones to fly over vulnerable neighborhoods and make public announcements during emergencies. On Sunday, on the tail end of a weekend of heavy rain and flooding, New York City’s emergency notification system tweeted to AM New York that the NYPD would be “conducting a remote-test public messaging capabilities test” at a confirmed location in Hook Creek Park in Queens. NYPD He told AM New York The drones were being tested for weather-related emergencies, and are being tested ahead of more flooding expected later this week. The comments suggest that publicly announced drones may soon be deployed in real-world situations.

In addition to teaching New Yorkers the horrors of a drone during life-threatening emergencies, the test raises questions about compliance with NYPD rules that require the agency to inform the public when it deploys surveillance technology. The NYPD is required to post an impact statement on its website and use policy and seek public comment 90 days before deploying new surveillance technology to comply. 2020 Post Act. However, under the law, the NYPD only has to revise old use policies if it is using existing surveillance technology for new purposes. The use policy for unmanned aircraft, which was finalized in April 2021, made no mention of emergency announcements. The document states, “If the deployment of NYPD (drones) is not premeditated or mandated in policy, the senior uniformed member of the NYPD, the department head, will determine whether the deployment is appropriate and lawful. Pursuant to the Surveillance Technology Public Control Act, this impact and use policy will be developed as necessary to describe additional use of UAS. No such addition appears on the website. Surveillance Technology Oversight Project Executive Director Albert Fox Kahn said: “This “The plan is not to fly. The city already has ways to reach countless New Yorkers and would need thousands of drones to reach the entire city,” he told Motherboard in an email.

“Drones are a terrible way to warn New Yorkers, but they’re also a great way to keep us out. Shockingly, the NYPD is again violating the Public Surveillance Technology (POST) law, which requires public notice and comment before deploying new surveillance systems. “No gadget replaces effective city management and communication practices,” Kahn added.

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