Drone Misuse in India: What Enterprises Must Never Do With UAVs

Drones can be applied in various industries like agricultural industry, and even in disaster management to do aerial surveys

Supriya Rai
New Update
IIT Kanpur

After pondering for years and many deliberations, the drone policy is finally coming into place in India. The regulations, which are expected to come into place on 1 December 2018, can be beneficial for several industries for data analytics will only be simplified due to the introduction of drones. Several drone startups in India, such as AirPix that provides recommendations to enterprises by collecting aerial data through its drones, have embraced the news with open arms.


Also, DJI and Microsoft have partnered to use Azure as the cloud computing partner to help turn vast quantities of aerial imagery and video data into actionable insights for thousands of businesses across the globe. The partnership aims at bringing advanced artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities to DJI drones, thereby helping businesses harness the power of commercial drone technology and edge cloud computing.

Also Read: New Drone Policy in India: It’s Bitter-Sweet News for Amazon, Microsoft and Google

Drones can be applied in various industries like agricultural industry, and even in disaster management to do aerial surveys whilst not endangering human lives to do the same. While the advantages of drones are manifold, they can also easily be misused. As of now there is no clarity yet on the terms and conditions on the misuse of drones and regulatory bodies being setup to monitor the activity of UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles), here are four activities that are considered unethical and cannot be done by enterprises.


Spying or Corporate Espionage

Drones must never be used to collect data of competitors as this amounts to spying or corporate espionage. Data collected from competitors to advance self technological or financial interests is a serious offence and has been done through computers, Internet, malware and DDoS attacks. Introduction of UAVs may make it easier for nefarious parties to conduct industrial espionage. However, such activities are considered illegal and may have extremely serious ramifications on those doing it.

Cyber Attacks on Drones


Drones that are controlled by radio signals or WiFi’s are vulnerable to hacking. All one needs to do to take control of the drone is to hack the UAV in question and send signals through another control station. Valuable data that has already been recorded by the drones can be accessed by cyber hackers through this method. Also, data that is being transmitted live to controllers through the UAVs can be disrupted. This practice is similar to and just as unethical as hacking, and is considered a crime.

Sending and Receiving Payloads

Currently, the Government of India has made it very clear that delivery of items using UAVs will not be allowed. Although this rule has landed a blow to technology giants like Amazon, Flipkart, Swiggy and Google who were looking to create and use drones for delivery of products, it will ensure safety of Indians as terrorists and smugglers may use drones to carry out illegal activities.


Trespassing or Invasion of Privacy

The policy that has come into place mentions the air spaces where drones will not be allowed to operate. The ‘no drone zones’ are areas around the airport, international borders, Vijay Chowk in Delhi and areas with military installations. Nonetheless drones can also not be allowed to fly into private properties that don’t belong to the controller as this can amount to trespassing or invasion of privacy, which can even lead to imprisonment.

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