Concerns About Private Drone Use

Morgan O'Rourke


November 1, 2014

With the announcement late last year that Amazon was exploring the possibilities of using drones for deliveries, the commercial opportunities of these unmanned aerial vehicles have received increased public attention. But not everyone is optimistic about this new technology.

A recent study by the Chubb Group of Insurance Companies revealed a wide range of public fears when it comes to drones. Almost three-quarters of respondents expressed concerns that drones could damage their property, while 55% feared that a drone could cause eye or finger injuries if it were to crash into a person. Privacy was also a major issue, with 78% believing that drones could be used to turn America into a surveillance state, or that they might capture photos of family members (60%), hack into wireless networks (50%) or even steal their possessions (34%).

Two-thirds of respondents do not think that private citizens should be allowed to operate drones, 64% do not want businesses to use them and less than 10% would allow a child to pilot one, yet 21% of respondents said they would be interested in purchasing a drone for themselves. Respondents also supported drones for military, law enforcement and emergency medical aid use.

Morgan O’Rourke is editor in chief of Risk Management and director of publications for the Risk & Insurance Management Society, Inc. (RIMS)