Sweden May Be Backing Up on Drone Ban

Sweden may be set to reverse their draconian ruling against camera drones.

Last October, Sweden introduced a controversial drone law ruling that camera drones fell under the same regulation as surveillance cameras.  Under Swedish law, that means that any drone operator would need to acquire a permit from the local county administrative board before flying.

Media companies and trade organizations were quick to point out that the new law went too far, adn would be almost impossible to implement.  Critics complained that the law would serve to all but ban camera drones outright: “With Sweden’s Data Protection Authority (Datainspektionen) typically only granting permits when the goal of filming is to prevent crime or accidents, the shift was interpreted as a disaster for the growing number of companies and videographers using the new technology to capture images previously unattainable without access to expensive filming gear,” said The Local in Sweden.

The Swedish government may now be set to reverse the new rule, announcing this week that the government plans to change the requirement for media to acquire a permit before operating a drone.

Following the criticism, the Swedish government this week announced that it wants to change the rule that a permit is required for using the devices to film.  Following the typical government process, the new law could come into effect this spring.

Johan Lindqvist of drone trade association UAS Sweden is cautiously optimistic:

“We’re optimistic. The Swedish government has realized that the old camera surveillance laws were outdated before they were even applied. Some parts are from the early 1970s and a lot of things have happened since then,” he told The Local.  “It is positive that the government has put out a referral for a fast change in the surveillance act, but still, a change will not be effective until summer 2017. Who will the law as it is right now apply to? Will professional operators have an exemption until the change?”

The government says that it will not change the law relating to drone harassment.

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