Surveillance drones aren’t new – they have been used by the military for decades – however, the idea of drones for home security is a relatively new concept.

Just last week, online retail giant Amazon was granted a patent for ‘surveillance as a service’ for its delivery drones.

The news surprised many considering that Amazon’s drone delivery service is still in its infancy and yet to deliver its first package.

So when can see expect to see Amazon drones surveilling our homes?

Amazon Drones: Delivering Packages & Home Surveillance

Amazon expects to deliver its first package with a drone in the coming months. The idea is that the same drone, if requested by the customer, would be able to check for anomalies with the home such as open doors, broken windows or a fire.

“Customers would be allowed to pay for visits on an hourly, daily, or weekly basis, and that drones could be equipped with night vision cameras and microphones to expand their sensing capabilities.”

Unsurprisingly, privacy advocates have raised concerns. Seemingly, there’s nothing to stop Amazon’s drones from capturing footage of neighbouring homes without the permission of the owner.

Amazon says it has a plan.

Delivery Drones For Surveillance & Privacy Concerns

If your neighbour has paid for home security checks, how can you be sure your property isn’t being photographed?

Amazon did address privacy issues in its patent application saying that geo-fencing would be used to ensure drones don’t photograph homes they’re not meant to. There were also suggestions of editing images after capture and constraining the drone’s sensor so that it is not physically possible for it to look at unauthorized homes.

Techspot suggests it’s likely to be at least another year before we see the first home surveillance drones, if we see any at all, so there’s plenty of time for Amazon to fine-tune its privacy policy. Whatever happens, when you combine Amazon and drone technology, it won’t be dull.

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