Drone over North Fort Myers causes privacy concerns

Posted at 9:37 AM, Jan 28, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-30 07:02:34-05

NORTH FORT MYERS, Fla. -- A North Fort Myers woman told Fox 4 she felt her privacy was violated, Friday, after she and her husband discovered a drone watching over them in their back yard this week.

Stacie Anderson has no idea who was flying the drone over their Lazy Days Village home, as she and her husband were sitting in their back yard. "All the sudden, I look up and I see a drone just hovering over my house," she said.

Her husband waved at the drone, temporarily making it fly away. However, a few minutes later, the drone was back hovering over them continuously. "At that point, I think it was stalking and taking pictures and it made me very uncomfortable," said Anderson. "It was a total invasion of my privacy. I get it, people have toys and they want to fly over something, but as I said, it just stopped and it hovered and hovered and it wouldn't go away."

Fox 4 consulted with drone experts to see if this is legal. Daniel Barres, CEO of Soaring Sky, uses drones to do things like building inspections, mapping and photography, closely following FAA regulations in order to keep his license. But he tells Fox 4 there are plenty of people who use drones just for fun. "They have to stay within 400 feet and they cannot fly over people."

If you have a drone, you cannot fly over people. This means Anderson can file a complaint about what happened to her. On the other hand, if a drone is flying over your property while you're not outside, you may be out of luck. "Unfortunately, aviation law would go into effect there and they do not own the airspace above their house," said Barres.

Barres says as drones become more popular, more regulations will follow. Anderson would prefer sooner rather than later. "What if they were doing that while my grandkids were out here, they're taking photos of children," she said.