Technology or Individual –
Whenever an incident hits the headlines that involves the misuse of technology, the response to deal with it generally falls into two camps, a focus on technology or a focus on the individual. Which way is the right way to go to mitigate any perceived threat?
The default position that most people revert to is a focus on the technology, be that a bike, a drone, a vehicle, a computer, or electronic scooter etc.
Technology is easy to focus upon, it can be defined specifically, it can then readily identified, and as a result it’s a simple process to legislate against to control its use. There are many examples of this e.g. in the UK new drone legislation has been introduced, bans on using electronic scooters on roads and pavements etc.
Consider then the recent events at Yeovilton air base in the UK where an extinction rebellion protester gained access to the runway on a pushbike causing disruption. In this instance the pushbike was the technology used by the individual. So how do we try and stop this happening in the future. Do we legislate and introduce bans on bikes around airfields, or improve the security and prevent the individual getting onto the site?
A focus on the individual however is much more challenging. A bike is a bike, sure there are different styles but they are generally recognised as the same thing. It is also worth noting that the technologies identified above all require input from an individual to achieve something, good or bad.
Being able to identify an individual that intends to miss use a particular technology is almost impossible. One of the reasons why possibly we focus on the technology, because it’s easier. A focus on the individual tends to lead us down a different path to control the use. Normally this involves the introduction of physical security, fences, guards, CCTV. These all allow us to control access to a site and identify individuals that may be a risk to the security of it.
What’s the solution?
Legislating on the use of technology is most useful where it sets out the foundations for the acceptable use by the individual of the technology. However if this approach extends too far it could lead to a progressively draconian society, increasingly impeding civil liberties and impacting on positive long-term benefits to society that the use of the technology may bring.
Introducing security measures around sites to prevent the individual misusing the technology gives the most open environment that does not impede on its adoption or the exploration of it for new purposes. However relying on this along without some ground rules leads to issues such as privacy, health and safety etc
The challenge is balancing the response to any control required of the technology yet at the same time allowing positive impacts to flourish that are deemed to be of value to society.
At Drone Defence we believe that there is a better way, one that enables the use of drone technology by individuals without impacting negatively on others. This involves a mix of both light legislation and localised prevention. A Legislatively light environment provides the necessary safe operating framework for the technology, and localised prevention provides the necessary security to prevent individuals misusing the technology around specific sites such as airports, prisons, stadiums, events etc.
We believe this balanced approach is the best way to address the security concerns whilst also enabling the drone industry to explore the positive opportunities for the application of the technology.