I’ve blogged about this previously, but it was always half in jest. I can’t jest any more.
The Scheibel Corporation’s drone spy plane, developed on behalf of the military, is now going civilian. A news story today indicates that the drone may soon become a news gathering tool, as television stations begin using them as their new sky spy.
That’s been done in the past, of course, from helicopters and small planes owned by the TV stations. But those stations have always had to be cautious about invasion of privacy. Grab some pictures of you and a couple of ladies in the backyard hot tub, and the invasion of privacy lawsuits would fly.
However, consider this: As the technology becomes cheaper to buy or rent, members of the typical HOA could easily use them to scope out hidden violations of the CC&Rs. This drone takes still shots, it takes magnificent moving video. It was intentionally designed to actually track people in their most private moments.
But can’t you file invasion of privacy lawsuits against your HOA? Sure, you can file them, but you might not get anywhere in court. Remember, you signed those papers which relieved your board members of liability. You signed papers that allow your property to be inspected without prior notice. Most people don’t even know the kinds of rights they’ve signed away.
It’s a weird admission, but years ago I once ran outside the house in my birthday suit to grab the newspaper from my driveway. Heck, it was four in the morning. It was pitch black, nobody could see me.
But times change. Lordy, how they change. Now, that kind of video might even be legally played on the bigscreen at the HOA Christmas party! Mock me at your own risk, Pal!
Ward Lucas, author of Neighbors At War! The Creepy Case Against Your Homeowners Association