VIDEO: Hogan Lovells Partner on Drones, Privacy, Security

Bloomberg Law: Privacy & Data Security brings you single-source access to the expertise of Bloomberg Law’s privacy and data security editorial team, contributing practitioners,...

By Jimmy H. Koo

Companies and government agencies are quickly realizing the safety and efficiency benefits of drone technology, and the U.S. government is starting to embrace the use of drones, a drone law attorney told Bloomberg BNA in a video interview.

Lisa Ellman, a Washington-based partner at Hogan Lovells LLP and chair of the firm’s unmanned aircraft systems practice, said that despite growing acceptance of drones, privacy and security concerns remain.

Lisa Ellman Interview

Consumers often think differently of drones compared to other technologies, Ellman said. For many, the word “drone” connotes a surveillance technology rather than a camera platform like a helicopter or satellite or phone, she said. As a result, consumers are often more concerned about privacy issues related to drones than they are with other technologies, such as mobile phones, that can capture the same data.

However, there are laws and rules in place that protect consumers’ privacy and security, Ellman said. For example, trespass and nuisance laws, and rules against misappropriation of trade secrets, already provide some level of protection, she said.

Ellman recommended that policy makers and innovators work together towards “polivation"—policy-making that promotes innovation. For the drone industry to thrive, policy makers need to work with innovators to help each other understand what’s ahead, she said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jimmy H. Koo in Washington at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Donald G. Aplin at

For More Information

The complete interview is available at

Copyright © 2017 The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Request Bloomberg Law Privacy and Data Security