2016 could be the year of the drone. We've already seen their use explode in 2015 and retailers are expecting to sell millions of them this Christmas. That's one reason the government is scrambling to have drone operators register their drones.
Drones have a lot of positive uses, such as cheap aerial photography and point-to-point package delivery, but as with any technology, there are plenty of negatives, too. And those negatives are piling up fast.
We've already told you about drones almost running into planes, crashing into babies, crashing at major events, crashing into national treasures, interfering with emergency personnel and more. However, one of the biggest worries is still personal privacy, thanks to the cameras just about every drone carries.
Nobody wants drones flying over their backyards or peeping into windows, but that's exactly what's happening. Even when it isn't intentional, drones might still catch pictures of things they shouldn't, as a topless sunbather from Australia found out when she showed up on a real estate billboard for the home next door.
However, perverted voyeurs have found that drones are the perfect way to photograph and video record things they shouldn't be seeing. Even worse, they're posting them online for others to watch. That's one reason California tried to pass a law restricting drones to flying higher than 350 feet over houses, but it didn't pass.
The U.K. in particular has seen an upswing in complaints about drones hovering near sunbathers on beaches and roofs, poking around backyards, peeping into windows, flying past nude beaches and even hovering near playgrounds.
The Daily Star even found some online sites that celebrate drones as the next frontier of voyeurism. Forget the traditional stalker, women and celebrities could soon have drones following them around, just out of reach, while the stalker is holed up elsewhere.
It's no wonder plenty of people want to shoot down drones, and several companies are coming up with anti-drone defenses from anti-drone ammo to anti-drone lasers to gadgets that disrupt the drone's control signal. Of course, downing a drone might get you in legal trouble, so that's another headache.
Of course, this isn't the first time we've been through this. Every time new technology comes out, it's a race between bad to people trying to see how they can misuse it and for the rest of us to find ways to stop them.
When cameras first came to cellphones, for examples, a lot of perverts used them to sneak inappropriate pictures of women in public. That's why for a while cellphone cameras made that loud shutter noise and you couldn't turn it off. We'll just have to see what develops in the coming year that protects the average person from drone snooping.
Do you think drone snooping is going to be a widespread problem in the future, or is it just a few people giving drones a bad name? Let us know in the comments.