We recently decided to join NoFlyZone in an effort to make HEXO+ as privacy-friendly as we can. NoFlyZone lets anyone decide how to handle the airspace above their heads and provides drone makers with the corresponding data to make sure UAVs are flying where they should. We caught up with Ben Marcus, the CEO and founder, to introduce the service to you and the drone-flying/making/loving community.
Ben grew up near the Santa Monica Airport and would watch planes take off and land from his backyard. This early exposure to aeronautics led to fascination that quickly turned into a passion. By age 17, Ben found himself licensed behind the throttle, and by 18 he was teaching others how to master airplane flight. Needless to say, he’s an avid drone pilot and loves to shoot aerial scenic views of the Golden State.
While capturing footage – like most of us often experience – Ben is frequently approached by curious passersby. He noticed that a lot of the questions people asked about drones were related to security and safety issues. As we are entering an age where drones are becoming ubiquitous, Ben thought these legitimate concerns needed to be addressed.
On our end, we’re joining this initiative because we think it’s relevant to help drones find their spot in society. Privacy is an important thing for everyone — even more so lately, so it makes sense for us to be involved closely and have our say on how we think drones should interact with people, generally speaking.
So enter NoFlyZone. NoFlyZone provides drone companies with an online database of homeowners and tenants who want the location of their living space geo-fenced. Essentially, anyone can define a perimeter over his land that prohibit the flight of drones within it. It is then up to the drone company to appropriately respond to the information provided by NoFlyZone. More info directly on NoFlyZone.com.
With geofencing being this simple, concerns of abuse have brought up in our community of drone lovers so we asked Ben directly how he was planning to handle that. Turns out he’s got a plan.
Aside from accessing county records, NoFlyZone is closely monitoring the addresses being registered to prevent an incident from happening. They are keeping a close eye on how many properties a particular IP address tries to register, as well as tracking the time frame each address is registered in a similar location. If someone notices there is an unwanted geo-fence around their property, they can contact NoFlyZone and have the fence immediately removed. In the event that a tenant registers a multi-family home, such as an apartment, and another tenant wants it removed, NoFlyZone looks to the owner of the complex for a decision to keep the property registered or not. Ways of preventing abuse do not stop there; Noflyzone is exploring multiple approaches to keep geo-fencing registration honest and reliable.
We honestly believe one should be able to decide if he wants drones flying over his house or not. This partnership at the early stages with NoFlyZone is a chance to have our say in how we limit irresponsible use of drones and improve public trust as we move into a new era. On the other hand, our community has always come first and in the event this partnership becomes too much of a hindrance for users, we will figure ways with Ben in order to move in a constructive direction. That’s the whole point, voicing our opinion and our community’s, building a responsible drone industry, one step at a time.
And anyway, who would like to see unwanted guests sprinting through their backyard with a HEXO+ drone following quickly behind them? Freedom of movement is awesome of course, but so is respecting people’s personal space.
We’re curious to hear your thoughts on this, let us know below, we’ll include Ben from NoFlyZone in the conversation.
Marshall, for your HEXO+ Team