Amazon's Drones Plan Shows Innovation That Burdensome Regulations Could Stifle

EXPERT COMMENTARY

Amazon's Drones Plan Shows Innovation That Burdensome Regulations Could Stifle

By Eli Dourado |
Dec 02, 2013

Mercatus Center research fellow Eli Dourado comments on the news that Amazon.com is looking into using drones to improve delivery times:

“News that Amazon is planning to eventually deploy a drone delivery system that could someday allow customers to receive their purchases in as little as 30 minutes shows the promise that this type of new technology can provide. But it also shows what we stand to lose if burdensome regulations hold back innovation and entrepreneurship.

Privacy advocates argue that special protections are necessary for the commercial use of unmanned aircraft systems (UASs). However, preemptive rulemaking at this point would require over-speculating about what types of privacy violations could even occur. It would also stifle the kind of private sector innovation being explored by Amazon without any justification. In addition, there are already federal and state laws on the books protecting the privacy of individuals.

If privacy concerns from commercial UAS activity arise, future laws could be put in place narrowly tailored based on actual cases that emerge, rather than regulating based on hypothesis. Preemptively installing regulatory barriers will prevent commercial drones from providing the potential economic growth generated by the permissionless, open platform, that helped the Internet flourish.”

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