News Corp. iPad tabloid The Daily used drone-enabled photography to capture images from natural disaster-stricken regions more impressive than those of any other news outlet without a helicopter. But the exclusives, not to mention the geeky street cred, could be coming to an end.
According to Forbes, the Federal Aviation Administration only allows their use for hobbyists, who must fly under 400 feet. Civil and commercial use is limited to research and development.
“We are examining The Daily’s use of a small unmanned aircraft to see if it was in accordance with FAA policies,” Les Dorr told Forbes’ Kashmir Hill. A Daily spokesperson did not respond to her inquiry about ownership and licensing of the company’s drone.
The primary concern is that they’ll be used to stalk individuals, which, given all the invasion of privacy issues upstairs and across the pond, the FAA would be wise to prevent. Not that there’s been any aerial paparazzi work in Richard Johnson’s gossip section yet–unless that’s how they found Hollywood’s Pynchon, Nikki Finke.