Little protection from high-tec prying neighbours

NOT all spies wear tuxedos and drink unshaken martinis.

A Queensland law professor has told a national inquiry into drones that there was little protection if a neighbour wanted to use the technology to peer into your life.

Queensland University of Technology Law Professor Des Butler explained to the committee on Friday that a drone could be kept hovering above or beside a property and the homeowner could do nothing about it.

Prof Butler said it would not count as trespassing or even public nuisance unless the noise of the machine ran continuously.

Even if the drone was fitted with a high-definition camera and flown well above your property, the pilot may still not be in the wrong.

"A hobbyist could fly a (drone) over his property, then angle the camera so it spies next door," he said.

"There is certainly no trespass.

"It's conceivable you could fly your drone at a height... and still be able with a zoom lens look down on activities that are occurring on that property."

The committee, chaired by Dawson MP George Christensen, is considering whether laws governing drones and privacy are keeping up with the new technology.

Small drones are available from department stories for less than $500 with high-definition cameras already fitted.

Under aviation laws, they must fly no higher than 120m.


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