From February 23-25, the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) held its annual Winter Meeting in Washington, D.C., bringing together attorneys general, federal officials, and other professionals to discuss current legal issues. Professor Henry H. Perritt, Jr., spoke at the meeting in a panel on unmanned aircraft systems (“drones”) and the challenges that arise in regulating them. See a video of Prof. Perritt’s presentation above.
In his presentation, Prof. Perritt urged lawmakers to resist the reflex to rush in and regulate drones with excessive restrictions—especially smaller “microdrones,” which pose little threat to safety or privacy but which are integral to the development of the technology. He commended the FAA’s recent notice of proposed rulemaking, which addresses some of the risks drones pose while leaving sufficient room for markets to drive technological innovation. In this proposal, regulations are tailored to reality, encouraging a culture of compliance and law-abiding autonomy appropriate to the technology. Contrary to a common opinion, Perritt argued that the law serves best when it follows technology in this manner, waiting to see how that technology plays out in the real world.
Prof. Perritt has written extensively on drones for numerous law and trade publications. See more of his scholarship here.
Notable speakers at the NAAG Winter Meeting included FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez, FBI Director James Comey, and US Vice President Joe Biden.