Skip to content Skip to main navigation

Opinion

Canberra’s Leading
Relationship Lawyers

A drone on your backyard

Paul Costigan 12 May 2017 26

A curious thing happened in Dickson on Thursday this week. A neighbour was talking to a friend in his backyard when they became aware of a noise above them.

To their surprise, they saw that a drone was sitting above them, with what looked like a camera pointing down at them. They walked out onto the street and spotted a couple watching the skyline where the drone was flying.

The annoyed neighbour walked down the street and asked what was going on. They were told that the guy was from a real estate agency and the other person was a photographer with clearance (permission) to fly over people’s houses – backyards.

By now they were joined by another neighbour who had heard the noise and came to see for herself what was happening.

In the conversation that followed, the real estate agency rep and their photographer insisted that what they were doing was normal, that they had been doing this (flying over neighbourhoods) for six months and that this was the first time anyone had objected. To which was replied, “maybe this because no-one knows this is what you are doing?”

Part of the justification was that there was the prospect of a sale by the real estate agency in this street. But at this point there was no such sale – and more to the point – which was not answered, why were they flying the drone over peoples’ backyards up and down the whole street?

Since the incident, a couple of other neighbours have asked what that noise was all about – and to put it politely, they are not happy.

Yes we have all accepted Google and My Maps – being images of neighbourhoods taken using satellites; we have accepted the electricity authority flying helicopters around the neighbourhood to check on trees near lines; and real estate agents using drones on houses that are for sale – but real estate agents and their contractors flying drones over everyone’s backyards? Is that a line too far? Why do they need to do that?

The conversation around here is just how much of this style of intrusion should we accept.

We have sent an email through to the real estate agency – so we will see what they say.

Your thoughts?

Has anyone else experienced something similiar?


What’s Your opinion?


Please login to post your comments, or connect with
26 Responses to
A drone on your backyard
Filter
Showing only Website comments
Order
Newest to Oldest
Oldest to Newest
dungfungus 2:27 pm 24 May 17

dungfungus said :

Lucy Baker said :

What is legal that would shoot it down?

While there are plenty of legal things that shoot they cannot be legally discharged in your backyard or “a public place”.

A boomerang would be OK I guess but the best way would be t jam their radio control which is probably illegal too.

Some agencies are training birds of prey to attack them and retrieve them.

More about what I was saying:
http://www.abc.net.au/news/rural/2017-05-24/wedge-tailed-eagle-takes-down-drone-over-wa-wheat-farm/8554120

Great video in this article.

Power to the wedge tails!

Holden Caulfield 3:09 pm 23 May 17

I’m not saying there’s no broader issues to be considered with the use of drones, but in the case of the real estate agency in this post, might I suggest people get over their own egos and calm the farm. In your rush to be outraged have you considered that, in all likelihood, nobody is actually interested in your backyard?

dungfungus 8:15 pm 22 May 17

Lucy Baker said :

What is legal that would shoot it down?

While there are plenty of legal things that shoot they cannot be legally discharged in your backyard or “a public place”.

A boomerang would be OK I guess but the best way would be t jam their radio control which is probably illegal too.

Some agencies are training birds of prey to attack them and retrieve them.

Lucy Baker 7:43 pm 22 May 17

What is legal that would shoot it down?

Maya123 7:30 pm 22 May 17

wags said :

Would you consider it an invasion of privacy if a neighbour built a two story house overlooking your backyard? ACT planning laws allow it, so by precedent, bring on the drones.

I personally likely wouldn’t worry about that. I would hope they liked the garden. But I would object if the house blocked the sun. Privacy (of the garden) is less of an issue.

rommeldog56 9:16 am 20 May 17

wags said :

Would you consider it an invasion of privacy if a neighbour built a two story house overlooking your backyard? ACT planning laws allow it, so by precedent, bring on the drones.

You can appeal against development on the neighbors block. But can you against use of drones to invade your privacy ?

wags 7:58 am 20 May 17

Would you consider it an invasion of privacy if a neighbour built a two story house overlooking your backyard? ACT planning laws allow it, so by precedent, bring on the drones.

Lurker2913 1:40 pm 19 May 17

Letter from Real Estate Agent:

Dear Homeowner,

We recently noticed (whilst flying a drone in your backyard) that you have renovated your kitchen. Are you interested in a free market appraisal to see how much it has added to your property value?

Regards

Creepy Real Estate Guy

thelonius 12:39 pm 19 May 17

You read it here first.

It’s only a matter of months before some terrorist nut case fits an IED on a drone and flies it into a public gathering, or takes down a civilian aircraft with it.

At that point, the Australian government will immediately ban all drones, and impose strict licensing and identity requirements on these things.

I don’t know why this hasn’t already happened.

wildturkeycanoe 7:26 am 19 May 17

Karma60 said :

Before everyone feigns horror about an invasion of privacy by drones, I think we need to keep in mind that we’re all photographed multiple times per day without our knowledge.

But these instances are in public places, not in the privacy of our own homes

Karma60 said :

If the agents used a chartered helicopter or cherry-picker instead would you be less outraged? In fact if a real estate photographer takes a standard street-level picture which includes a portion of the homes on either side, do the neighbors have the right to protest?

There have been some instances in the media where paparazzi have been forced to remove images taken of famous people, captured with long distance telescopic lenses or drones. We do have a right to privacy when it comes to the media, regardless how the images were acquired. Now a street level picture is totally different as you are not having your private life exposed without your knowledge [who would be silly enough to go out on their front lawn in their underwear and then complain about being photographed?].

Karma60 said :

The whole scenario reminds me of a push in the 1970s to ban anyone taking photographs at beaches or public places (e.g Pitt Street Mall or the MCG). The theory was that everyone had to give permission for their photo to be taken before the shutter was pressed; apparently all photographers, including Japanese tourists, would be invading everyone else’s privacy if they didn’t comply.

Have you watched Bondi Rescue lately? Police can be called to stop perverts taking snaps of women sunbathing or kids playing on the sand if they are not family members.
From the Department of Sport and Recreation, “Having free access to a place does not mean it is a public place and is permissible to take photographs/ film, such as; schools, child care services, hospitals, nursing homes, shopping malls, sports arenas and music venues. These places are considered to be private property even if they are owned by government.”

Karma60 said :

It’s the same with drone operators and real estate agents.

No, there is no distinction between the different methods of taking the photos or whom is taking them. The law says it is illegal to take photos “used for commercial purposes without the consent of the subject”.
As drone use increases, the laws need to keep up with progress to protect people’s rights to privacy. The government needs to be actively involved in this now as the current protections appear to be inadequate.
If I see a drone filming over my backyard, I wouldn’t hesitate to hurl a few rocks at it.

bikhet 6:57 am 19 May 17

Karma60 said :

Before everyone feigns horror about an invasion of privacy by drones, I think we need to keep in mind that we’re all photographed multiple times per day without our knowledge. … If they get a good price the value of your own home is likely to rise.

In most of the places you mention the people being photographed should have no reasonable expectation of privacy. The situation is different when you are in your own home – though what may be “a reasonable expectation of privacy” becomes at bit more convoluted when you are at home.

Karma60 11:12 pm 18 May 17

Before everyone feigns horror about an invasion of privacy by drones, I think we need to keep in mind that we’re all photographed multiple times per day without our knowledge. Security cameras, dashboard cameras, mobile phone images, satellite maps etc. Real estate drone operators aren’t trying to see you or your kids naked or in a compromising position. They’re trying to show a low-level aerial view of one particular home in relation to a shopping centre, nature reserve or lake so that it looks impressive to buyers. If the agents used a chartered helicopter or cherry-picker instead would you be less outraged? In fact if a real estate photographer takes a standard street-level picture which includes a portion of the homes on either side, do the neighbours have the right to protest? After all couldn’t the photographer really be trying to get a glimpse through their windows? Why don’t we just ban all real estate photos? The whole scenario reminds me of a push in the 1970s to ban anyone taking photographs at beaches or public places (e.g Pitt Street Mall or the MCG). The theory was that everyone had to give permission for their photo to be taken before the shutter was pressed; apparently all photographers, including Japanese tourists, would be invading everyone else’s privacy if they didn’t comply. Thankfully calmer minds prevailed and most of us now accept that a photographer snapping a photo in Garema Place probably isn’t trying to catch us in a humiliating position. It’s the same with drone operators and real estate agents. No-one is trying to see your G-strings on the washing line – they’re just trying to sell a house in your area. Who knows? If they get a good price the value of your own home is likely to rise.

Leroy60 8:32 pm 18 May 17

They’re trialling “disrupters” in a prison over in Britain. Wonder whether a domestic version is far off.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/05/16/british-prison-first-use-disruptor-create-drone-proof-shield/

PlasticScene 11:16 pm 13 May 17

Was taking what WAS (past tense) a relaxing walk the other day until a drone flew over my and hubby’s head. Don’t know if it had a camera on it or not but it gave a yucky and invasive feeling.

agent_clone 9:09 pm 12 May 17

I would suggest that the operator of the drone was probably flying it illegally. I’m going off this article:
https://www.gizmodo.com.au/2016/12/australian-drone-laws-what-you-need-to-know-before-taking-to-the-skies/

1) I presume the Drone wasn’t in line of sight given they were on the street and it was in your backyards.
2) It is obviously flying within 30 metres of people and buildings…

dungfungus 4:01 pm 12 May 17

planeguy said :

Interesting. Our neighbour recently listed their property and included drone photography in their ad.

The company employed to do the photography, door knocked all the neighbours before starting, and the resultant video shows nothing but the house in question.

It showed only the house in question because the stuff not required was either edited out or deleted. The unused portion may still be on file somewhere. You may be surprised where this sort of recorded media turns up.

John Moulis 3:18 pm 12 May 17

It happened to us during summer. Nobody asked permission, I was working out in Budgy Smugglers in the backyard with weights and heard a buzz like bees and looked up and it was there. I started doing bodybuilding poses and it got closer so the operator obviously liked what he saw. I daresay others are not so liberal about this sort of thing and regard it as an invasion of privacy.

Paul Costigan 2:07 pm 12 May 17
dungfungus 2:03 pm 12 May 17

If one of these comes down your street, take cover.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lID1VGQ9Da0

Watch until the end.

CBR Tweets

Sign up to our newsletter

Top
Copyright © 2019 Region Group Pty Ltd. All rights reserved.
the-riotact.com | aboutregional.com.au | b2bmagazine.com.au | thisiscanberra.com

Search across the site