White House Press Release on UAS issued today Feb 15th

15 Feb White House Press Release on UAS issued today Feb 15th


                         THE WHITE HOUSE
                  Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
                        February 15, 2015
SUBJECT:       Promoting Economic Competitiveness While
               Safeguarding Privacy, Civil Rights, and
               Civil Liberties in Domestic Use of
               Unmanned Aircraft Systems
Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) technology continues to improve
rapidly, and increasingly UAS are able to perform a variety of
missions with greater operational flexibility and at a lower
cost than comparable manned aircraft.  A wide spectrum of
domestic users -- including industry, private citizens, and
Federal, State, local, tribal, and territorial governments --
are using or expect to use these systems, which may play a
transformative role in fields as diverse as urban infrastructure
management, farming, public safety, coastal security, military
training, search and rescue, and disaster response.
The Congress recognized the potential wide-ranging benefits of
UAS operations within the United States in the FAA Modernization
and Reform Act of 2012 (Public Law 112-95), which requires a
plan to safely integrate civil UAS into the National Airspace
System (NAS) by September 30, 2015.
                                     risks to human life.
Estimates suggest the positive economic impact to U.S. industry
of the integration of UAS into the NAS could be substantial and
likely will grow for the foreseeable future.
As UAS are integrated into the NAS, the Federal Government will
take steps to ensure that the integration takes into account not
only our economic competitiveness and public safety, but also
the privacy, civil rights, and civil liberties concerns these
systems may raise.
By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution
and the laws of the United States of America, and in order to
establish transparent principles that govern the Federal
Government's use of UAS in the NAS, and to promote the
responsible use of this technology in the private and commercial
sectors, it is hereby ordered as follows:
     Section 1.  UAS Policies and Procedures for Federal
Government Use.  The Federal Government currently operates UAS
in the United States for several purposes, including to manage
Federal lands, monitor wildfires, conduct scientific research,
monitor our borders, support law enforcement, and effectively
train our military.  As with information collected by the
Federal Government using any technology, where UAS is the
platform for collection, information must be collected, used,
retained, and disseminated consistent with the Constitution,
aircraft, UAS may provide lower-cost operation and augment
February 15, 2015
As compared to manned
existing capabilities while reducing


Federal law, and other applicable regulations and policies.
Agencies must, for example, comply with the Privacy Act of 1974
(5 U.S.C. 552a) (the "Privacy Act"), which, among other things,
restricts the collection and dissemination of individuals'
information that is maintained in systems of records, including
personally identifiable information (PII), and permits
individuals to seek access to and amendment of records.
     (a)  Privacy Protections.  Particularly in light of the
diverse potential uses of UAS in the NAS, expected advancements
in UAS technologies, and the anticipated increase in UAS use in
the future, the Federal Government shall take steps to ensure
that privacy protections and policies relative to UAS continue
to keep pace with these developments.  Accordingly, agencies
shall, prior to deployment of new UAS technology and at least
every 3 years, examine their existing UAS policies and
procedures relating to the collection, use, retention, and
dissemination of information obtained by UAS, to ensure that
privacy, civil rights, and civil liberties are protected.
Agencies shall update their policies and procedures, or issue
new policies and procedures, as necessary.  In addition to
requiring compliance with the Privacy Act in applicable
circumstances, agencies that collect information through UAS in
the NAS shall ensure that their policies and procedures with
respect to such information incorporate the following
          (i)    Collection and Use.  Agencies shall only
          collect information using UAS, or use UAS-collected
          information, to the extent that such collection or
          use is consistent with and relevant to an authorized
          (ii)   Retention.  Information collected using UAS
          that may contain PII shall not be retained for more
          than 180 days unless retention of the information is
          determined to be necessary to an authorized mission
          of the retaining agency, is maintained in a system of
          records covered by the Privacy Act, or is required to
          be retained for a longer period by any other
          applicable law or regulation.
          (iii)  Dissemination.  UAS-collected information that
          is not maintained in a system of records covered by
          the Privacy Act shall not be disseminated outside of
          the agency unless dissemination is required by law, or
          fulfills an authorized purpose and complies with
          agency requirements.
     (b)  Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Protections.  To
protect civil rights and civil liberties, agencies shall:
          (i)    ensure that policies are in place to prohibit
          the collection, use, retention, or dissemination of
          data in any manner that would violate the First
          Amendment or in any manner that would discriminate
          against persons based upon their ethnicity, race,
          gender, national origin, religion, sexual orientation,
          or gender identity, in violation of law;
          (ii)   ensure that UAS activities are performed in a
          manner consistent with the Constitution and applicable


          laws, Executive Orders, and other Presidential
          directives; and
          (iii)  ensure that adequate procedures are in place
          to receive, investigate, and address, as appropriate,
          privacy, civil rights, and civil liberties complaints.
     (c)  Accountability.  To provide for effective oversight,
agencies shall:
          (i)    ensure that oversight procedures for agencies'
          UAS use, including audits or assessments, comply with
          existing agency policies and regulations;
          (ii)   verify the existence of rules of conduct
          and training for Federal Government personnel and
          contractors who work on UAS programs, and procedures
          for reporting suspected cases of misuse or abuse of
          UAS technologies;
          (iii)  establish policies and procedures, or confirm
          that policies and procedures are in place, that
          provide meaningful oversight of individuals who have
          access to sensitive information (including any PII)
          collected using UAS;
          (iv)   ensure that any data-sharing agreements or
          policies, data use policies, and record management
          policies applicable to UAS conform to applicable laws,
          regulations, and policies;
          (v)    establish policies and procedures, or confirm
          that policies and procedures are in place, to
          authorize the use of UAS in response to a request for
          UAS assistance in support of Federal, State, local,
          tribal, or territorial government operations; and
          (vi)   require that State, local, tribal, and
          territorial government recipients of Federal grant
          funding for the purchase or use of UAS for their own
          operations have in place policies and procedures to
          safeguard individuals' privacy, civil rights, and
          civil liberties prior to expending such funds.
     (d)  Transparency.  To promote transparency about their UAS
activities within the NAS, agencies that use UAS shall, while
not revealing information that could reasonably be expected to
compromise law enforcement or national security:
          (i)    provide notice to the public regarding where
          the agency's UAS are authorized to operate in the NAS;
          (ii)   keep the public informed about the agency's UAS
          program as well as changes that would significantly
          affect privacy, civil rights, or civil liberties; and
          (iii)  make available to the public, on an annual
          basis, a general summary of the agency's UAS
          operations during the previous fiscal year, to include
          a brief description of types or categories of missions
          flown, and the number of times the agency provided
          assistance to other agencies, or to State, local,
          tribal, or territorial governments.
     (e)  Reports.  Within 180 days of the date of this
memorandum, agencies shall provide the President with a status
report on the implementation of this section.  Within 1 year of
the date of this memorandum, agencies shall publish information
on how to access their publicly available policies and
procedures implementing this section.
     Sec. 2.  Multi-stakeholder Engagement Process.  In addition
to the Federal uses of UAS described in section 1 of this
memorandum, the combination of greater operational flexibility,
lower capital requirements, and lower operating costs could
allow UAS to be a transformative technology in the commercial
and private sectors for fields as diverse as urban
infrastructure management, farming, and disaster response.
Although these opportunities will enhance American economic
competitiveness, our Nation must be mindful of the potential
implications for privacy, civil rights, and civil liberties.
The Federal Government is committed to promoting the responsible
use of this technology in a way that does not diminish rights
and freedoms.
     (a)  There is hereby established a multi-stakeholder
engagement process to develop and communicate best practices
for privacy, accountability, and transparency issues regarding
commercial and private UAS use in the NAS.  The process will
include stakeholders from the private sector.
     (b)  Within 90 days of the date of this memorandum, the
Department of Commerce, through the National Telecommunications
and Information Administration, and in consultation with other
interested agencies, will initiate this multi-stakeholder
engagement process to develop a framework regarding privacy,
accountability, and transparency for commercial and private UAS
use.  For this process, commercial and private use includes the
use of UAS for commercial purposes as civil aircraft, even if
the use would qualify a UAS as a public aircraft under 49 U.S.C.
40102(a)(41) and 40125.  The process shall not focus on law
enforcement or other noncommercial governmental use.
     Sec. 3.  Definitions.  As used in this memorandum:
     (a)  "Agencies" means executive departments and agencies of
the Federal Government that conduct UAS operations in the NAS.
     (b)  "Federal Government use" means operations in which
agencies operate UAS in the NAS.  Federal Government use
includes agency UAS operations on behalf of another agency
or on behalf of a State, local, tribal, or territorial
government, or when a nongovernmental entity operates UAS
on behalf of an agency.
     (c)  "National Airspace System" means the common network
of U.S. airspace; air navigation facilities, equipment, and
services; airports or landing areas; aeronautical charts,
information, and services; related rules, regulations, and
procedures; technical information; and manpower and material.
Included in this definition are system components shared jointly
by the Departments of Defense, Transportation, and Homeland
     (d)  "Unmanned Aircraft System" means an unmanned aircraft
(an aircraft that is operated without direct human intervention
from within or on the aircraft) and associated elements


(including communication links and components that control the
unmanned aircraft) that are required for the pilot or system
operator in command to operate safely and efficiently in the
     (e)  "Personally identifiable information" refers to
information that can be used to distinguish or trace an
individual's identity, either alone or when combined with other
personal or identifying information that is linked or linkable
to a specific individual, as set forth in Office of Management
and Budget Memorandum M-07-16 (May 22, 2007) and Office of
Management and Budget Memorandum M-10-23 (June 25, 2010).
     Sec. 4.  General Provisions.  (a)  This memorandum
complements and is not intended to supersede existing laws and
policies for UAS operations in the NAS, including the National
Strategy for Aviation Security and its supporting plans, the
FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012, the Federal Aviation
Administration's (FAA's) Integration of Civil UAS in the NAS
Roadmap, and the FAA's UAS Comprehensive Plan.
     (b)  This memorandum shall be implemented consistent
with applicable law, and subject to the availability of
     (c)  Nothing in this memorandum shall be construed to
impair or otherwise affect:
          (i)   the authority granted by law to an executive
          department, agency, or the head thereof; or
          (ii)  the functions of the Director of the Office
          of Management and Budget relating to budgetary,
          administrative, or legislative proposals.
     (d)  Independent agencies are strongly encouraged to comply
with this memorandum.
     (e)  This memorandum is not intended to, and does not,
create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural,
enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the
United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its
officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.

(f) The Secretary of Commerce is hereby authorized and directed to publish this memorandum in the Federal Register.




No Comments

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.