DC Circuit Denies EPIC’s Petition, Will Not Mandate Privacy Rules for Drones

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The D.C. Circuit ruled today in EPIC v. FAA that EPIC lacked standing to compel the FAA to establish privacy rules for commercial drones. In 2012 EPIC, backed by more than one hundred organizations and privacy experts, petitioned the agency to establish privacy safeguards for drones. EPIC also cited a 2012 law requiring the FAA to develop a “comprehensive plan” for drone deployment. EPIC subsequently filed suit against the FAA, challenging the 2016 rule authorizing commercial drone operations without any privacy safeguards. Today the D.C. Circuit declined to reach the merits of EPIC’s challenge, finding that neither EPIC nor its members had established an “injury” caused by the FAA rule. EPIC will continue to push for the establishment of drone privacy safeguards at the FAA. The drone privacy case is EPIC v. FAA, No. 16-1297 (D.C. Cir.).


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