Are News Outlets Being Regulated When They Use Drones For Media Footage?


There was a recent story about Joy FM using a drone to capture footage of the former president’s residence as he was preparing to leave. There were claims of invasion of privacy and security risks.

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Image Credit: JoyFM.com

Joy FM recently came out and said the story was “false” and was nothing but a smear campaign against them. They said the drone footage was taken on December 9th and the footage was of the president’s political party members going to his residence and not footage of the president preparing to leave.

Well…that’s all fair right?

Actually, technically it’s not. There are more questions about the whole thing of using drones to news footage. For instance, did Joy FM get permission to fly the drone in that area and capture footage for its news coverage? Did they clear it with the president’s security detail?

That’s something that needs to be looked at

New Media, New Regulations?

Drones are still new in the Ghanaian landscape. While some are using them as cool toys, some of using them for land surveillance, photography opportunities and security. But is there any regulation when it comes to privacy and security for people who don’t want to be captured on drone footage?

The Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) has said that people would need to get licenses to operate drones but there is no word about privacy invasion.

What happens if someone uses a drone to capture a wedding and puts it online. What if the wedding party didn’t authorize it? What if it’s a celebrity trying to have his or her private time and people use a drone to get exclusive pictures?

Lots of things to consider in the future.

In the case of Joy FM, I don’t know if they got permission to film that footage. Whether they have a license to operate is another question. If they didn’t get permission and they don’t have a license, then their excuse of the date of the footage is irrelevant.

Other news outlets would probably want to use drones for their new footage. But are they going to be regulated? Who is going to make sure that news outlets use drones properly and not invade privacy of citizens who don’t want to be on camera.

For me, I would be livid if drone footage on me was shown on news outlets and I wasn’t ask for my permission to appear in it.

This is a new thing. But there still needs to be sanity when it comes to privacy and security.

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