Sweden has just made it a whole lot harder to fly camera drones

Sweden has just made it a whole lot harder to fly camera drones
A recent ruling by Sweden’s highest court has apparently made it a whole lot harder for people to fly camera drones there. The authorities have decided the machines are a kind of surveillance camera so a special permit will now be needed to fly them.

With new drones hitting the market all the time – among them ultra-portable offerings such as DJI’s Mavic and GoPro’s Karma – you can bet we’re going to see an uptick in sales of the remotely controlled flying machine in the run up to Christmas.

But depending on where you live, getting the thing off the ground isn’t always as straightforward as you might think. While the authorities in some countries discourage owners from launching their machines in urban areas or over crowded places for safety reasons, the Swedish powers-that-be appear to be focusing more on another issue that we don’t tend to hear so much about when it comes to quadcopters: privacy.

On Friday, the country’s highest court made it a whole lot harder for drone enthusiasts to fly their copters in public places after it ruled that they are no different to security cameras. It means owners with cameras on their copters now need to acquire a permit before they can fly their machine.

The ruling by the Scandinavian country’s Supreme Administrative Court overturns a decision last year made by a lower district court that said camera-equipped unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) should not be classified as surveillance devices.

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