Italy: AI And Drones, A Love Affair (Part I)

Last Updated: 7 December 2018
Article by Giangiacomo Olivi

Drones' universe is one of the most explosive industries on a global scale. Today's drones are utilized for a number of different purposes, ranging from military to commercial usage. The capability of drones to record great amounts of data gave birth to the so-called AI or "intelligent" drones, which function based on AI algorithms.

One of the main innovative characteristics of drones is their capability to collect and process great amounts of data, including personal data, which is often difficult to manage. This implies that the future usage of drones will be increasingly linked to data analytics and AI patterns and algorithms.

More specifically, automated drones, when perceiving objects of the exterior world through their sensors (e.g. stereo-optical, electro-optical sensors) are effectively taking advantage of processes of "machine perception", namely one of the basic AI processes. Drones collect raw data, which will then be analysed to extract useful information through a process based upon Computer Vision software, manual programming and machine learning algorithms, often with cross-datasets processing. Drones are increasingly advantaged from the so-called "deep learning" algorithms, which are aimed at undertaking decision-making processes that "repeal" human brain's functioning (deep learning is substantially based on the use of neural networks which consist of different layers responsible for a determined task that make it possible to imitate some of human brain's decision-making processes).

Given that drones collect a huge amount of data, the capability of drones to interact with Internet traffic has given rise to security concerns as drones may have cyber vulnerabilities. One of the main producers of drones has recently launched a mode that prevents interaction with Internet traffic with the app when the drone is in flight. The purpose is to provide enhanced data privacy assurances for specific sensitive customers; when the mode is on, the app will not collect the localization of the user nor show a map of the no fly zones.

Drones structured on the basis of the described AI algorithms will be utilized increasingly in many different fields, from environment protection to military usage (for instance, replacing risky surveillance carried out by humans) and commercial purposes (for instance, a global retail operator has launched drone-delivery models that use Internet connection for automated object detection).

The drone industry is currently subject to important changes and implications, starting from the preeminent need to comply with the new stringent European data protection laws.

But what are the new European laws' main implications, and what is Italy expected to do?

The new European regulations. Are we all aligned?

The use of drones has been affected recently by two regulations: the general data protection regulation no. 2016/679 (GDPR) and regulation no. 2018/1139.

GDPR, as widely known, has introduced a number of new requirements when it comes to processing personal data, most of which are up to the drones' manufacturers (e.g. running a DPIA before implementing a new software for a drone, creating the mechanism respecting privacy by design and privacy by default systems). Notwithstanding the above, it is worth mentioning that processing personal data is still required to be in line with the same main principles applied under the previous data protection national laws, at least with regard to Italy. This means that the usage of drones is permitted when information notice is provided to the data subjects and, generally speaking, their consent must be collected before spreading content on the Internet.

In addition, European institutions, on the basis of the European Aviation Safety Agency's (EASA) proposal, recently approved the regulation no. 2018/1139 on drones (Drones Regulation), replacing the so called European "basic regulation" no. 216/2008 "on common rules in the field of civil aviation". Unlike the "basic regulation", which did not apply to drones (also defined as "unnamed aircraft systems or UAS") that weight less than 150 kg, the new regulation applies to all drones, notwithstanding their weight and size.

The new regulation sets specific standards of security and safety following a "risk-based approach", similarly to what is already set up with the GPPR.

Despite the approval of this new regulation on drones, European institutions are still required to enact, mostly in the next two years, executive and delegated acts providing more precise rules on a number of aspects of the regulation. In the meantime, national laws on drones' utilization will still apply, even if it is clear that national Authorities will have to undertake a process of alignment with the new European provisions.

The differences between the Drones Regulation and the Italian framework

As for Italy, the above alignment process will not be easy to achieve in the short term, as the Drones Regulation differs substantially with the Italian regulation [...] enacted by the Ente Nazionale l'Aviazione Civile (ENAC).

The main differences include the abolishment of ENAC's main distinction between "model aircraft", used for sport and recreational purposes, and "remote-controlled aircraft systems" - also known as "SAPR"- , used for all purposes different from sport and recreation. Indeed all drones will be classified under the common denomination of "Unmanned Aircraft" (UA). The distinction between sport flight, specialized non-critical operations and specialized critical operations will no longer exist. Instead, different drones' flight conditions will be taken into account. There will be new rules for pilots of drones that fly above people, away from people and close to people. In addition, according to the new European standards, drones will be divided into five categories (ranging from C0 to C4).

Another important innovation is the obligation to register the drone in a special register of drones or in a special register for pilots. The only drones exempt from such registration are those weighing less than 250 grams and that carry a camera with a resolution of less than five Megapixels. Lastly, according to the new European regulation, all drones will have to bear a CE mark in order to be distinguished from the ones imported from extra EU countries.

All the above will raise liability concerns. In the near future we will discuss AI drones and liability. In the meantime let us know if you want to discuss this topic further, and do not forget to sign up to our TMT Bits Newsletter!

This article was co-authored by Fabia Cairoli (fabia.cairoli@dentons.com) and Valeria Schiavo (valeria.schiavo@dentons.com)

Dentons is the world's first polycentric global law firm. A top 20 firm on the Acritas 2015 Global Elite Brand Index, the Firm is committed to challenging the status quo in delivering consistent and uncompromising quality and value in new and inventive ways. Driven to provide clients a competitive edge, and connected to the communities where its clients want to do business, Dentons knows that understanding local cultures is crucial to successfully completing a deal, resolving a dispute or solving a business challenge. Now the world's largest law firm, Dentons' global team builds agile, tailored solutions to meet the local, national and global needs of private and public clients of any size in more than 125 locations serving 50-plus countries. www.dentons.com.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Authors
 
Some comments from our readers…
“The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable”
“I often find critical information not available elsewhere”
“As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”

Related Topics
 
Related Articles
 
Up-coming Events Search
Tools
Print
Font Size:
Translation
Channels
Mondaq on Twitter
 
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
 
Email Address
Company Name
Password
Confirm Password
Position
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Accounting
 Anti-trust
 Commercial
 Compliance
 Consumer
 Criminal
 Employment
 Energy
 Environment
 Family
 Finance
 Government
 Healthcare
 Immigration
 Insolvency
 Insurance
 International
 IP
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Litigation
 Media & IT
 Privacy
 Real Estate
 Strategy
 Tax
 Technology
 Transport
 Wealth Mgt
Regions
Africa
Asia
Asia Pacific
Australasia
Canada
Caribbean
Europe
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
U.K.
United States
Worldwide Updates
Registration (you must scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of www.mondaq.com

To Use Mondaq.com you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.

Disclaimer

The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.

General

Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions