Privacy - Unmanned Aircraft Field Operations

Privacy Statement for Unmanned Aircraft/Drone Usage

Current Operations

Meath County Council - Athboy Traffic Survey - 07 June 2023 - 07 June 2023.

Road traffic survey of N51 and N154 Athboy. Contracting authority: Meath Councty Council, Transportation Department. Contact 0469097000





1. Introduction

Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) i.e., drones and model aircraft, are used by Safe Drone Academy for several purposes that entail aerial photography and videography. This use may involve the recording of personal data of individuals including their recognisable images. Safe Drone Academy is obliged to protect such data in accordance with provisions contained in the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) which came into effect on 25th May 2018 and the Data Protection Acts 1988-2018.

Note: Intentional recording of personal data shall be requested by Safe Drone Academy. Unmanned Aircraft flying at heights greater than 30m are unlikely to capture your personal image and/or sound recording.

2. Purpose of the Privacy Statement

Safe Drone Academy has developed a number of general policies and procedures to protect personal data. The purpose of this policy and procedures document is to support these documents by outlining specific provisions to assist Safe Drone Academy with fulfilling its data protection obligations regarding the operation of Unmanned Aircraft.
This policy should be read in conjunction with the Operations Manual and guidance provided by Data Protection Commissioner.
For the operation of Unmanned Aircraft, UAS Operators are required to comply with Regulation (EU) 2019/945/947, as amended, and/or guidance provided by the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) or other EU Member States as the case may be.

3. Scope

The scope of this policy and procedures document applies to all:
• Safe Drone Academy uses of unmanned aircraft that involve the recording of personal data.
• Safe Drone Academy employees.
• Any third-party service providers that may be engaged by Safe Drone Academy.

4. Data Protection Policy

Safe Drone Academy is committed to ensuring that personal data processed by its drone systems is:
  • Obtained lawfully, fairly and in a transparent manner;
  • Obtained for specified, explicit and legitimate purposes only;
  • Adequate, relevant and limited to what is necessary for the purpose for which it was obtained;
  • Recorded, stored accurately and securely and where necessary kept up to date;
  • Kept only for as long as is necessary for the purposes for which it was obtained;
  • Kept in a form which permits identification of the data subject;
  • Processed in a manner that ensures the appropriate security of the personal data including protection against unauthorised or unlawful processing.

5. Purpose of Unmanned Aircraft Activity

When deciding to use an Unmanned Aircraft for any particular purpose which involves the recording of personal data, Safe Drone Academy shall seek to ensure that at least one of the conditions outlined in Article 6 (and where relevant Article 9) of the GDPR exists to ensure the lawfulness of the processing of the personal data involved.
Unmanned Aircraft may be used by Safe Drone Academy for any purposes in accordance with Regulation (EU) 2019 945/947 amended including,
• Aerial mapping, surveying, and photography.
• Aerial photography and videography.
• Building and infrastructure inspections.
• Evidence gathering to assist enforcement activities such as those that may be carried out by Local Authorities.
• The provision of emergency services and operations, such as those provided by police, military, Civil Defence, and rescue organisations.
• Training and Education practical flight operations.

Personal data obtained through the use of Unmanned Aircraft shall be limited and proportionate to the purposes for which it was obtained.

6. How Data is Captured

Personal data obtained by unmanned aircraft may be captured by cameras that are located within the device. 

It is not the intention of Safe Drone Academy to capture personal data without permission. 

7. Your Rights

You have a range of rights under GDPR. These include the following:
  • The right to be informed;
  • The right of access;
  • The right to erasure (also known as the ‘right to be forgotten’) of personal data;
  • The right to portability;
  • The right to object to the processing of personal data;
  • The right to restrict the processing of personal data.

8. Data Subject Access to UAS Recordings 

Data protection legislation provides data subjects with a right to access their personal data. This includes their recognisable images and other personal data captured by UAS recording. Access requests are required to be submitted in writing in physical or electronic format e.g., by letter or e-mail to the Managing Director/Data Protection Officer and will be processed in accordance with provisions contained in Safe Drone Academy’s Subject Access Request Policy and Procedures.

It would not suffice for a data subject to make a general access request for a copy of UAS recordings. Instead, it will be necessary that data subjects specify that they are seeking to access a copy of UAS recordings that have captured their recognisable images and/or other personal data between specified dates, at certain times and at a named location.

The provision of access to a data subject of UAS recordings of his/her recognisable images and/or other personal data will normally involve providing a copy of the recording in video or photograph format using a secure methodology. In circumstances where the supply of a copy of the recording to the data subject is not possible or would involve unreasonable effort or cost, stills may be provided as an alternative to video footage. Where stills are provided, Safe Drone Academy shall aim to supply a still for every 2 seconds of the recording in which the data subject’s recognisable images and/or other personal data appears.

Where recognisable images and/or other personal data of other parties other than the data subject appear on the UAS recordings these will be pixelated or otherwise redacted on any copies or stills provided to the data subject. Alternatively, unedited copies of the UAS recordings may be released provided consent is obtained from those other parties whose recognisable images and/or other personal data appear on the UAS recordings.

If the UAS recording does not clearly identify recognisable images and/or other personal data relating to the data subject, then the recording will not be considered as personal data and will not be released by Safe Drone Academy.
If the UAS recording no longer exists on the date that Safe Drone Academy receives an access request it will not be possible to provide access to a data subject. UAS recordings are usually deleted in accordance with provisions contained in this policy.

9. Data Subject Access to UAS Recordings 

Data subjects may make a complaint to the Data Protection Commissioner in the following circumstances:
• If they experience a delay outside of the prescribed timeframe for making a decision on an access request or if they are dissatisfied with a decision by Safe Drone Academy on their access request.
• If they consider that Safe Drone Academy’s processing of their personal data is contrary to their data protection rights.
Contact details for the Data Protection Commission are found on the DPC website here.

10. Contacting Us

Further information on the operation of this policy and procedures document is available from the Managing Director, Safe Drone Academy here.
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