What Type of Person Supports 24/7 Police Drones over Neighborhoods? A Regression Analysis


Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) have significantly influenced the methods that industries use to conduct business. For example, several large city police forces have welcomed UAS, revolutionizing their surveillance capabilities. However, the influx of UAS does raise potential privacy concerns for citizens living in those areas patrolled with UAS. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to determine what variables predict participants’ privacy concerns about UAS police missions above their neighborhood. There were 205 participants in stage 1 and 186 participants in stage 2, and they were presented with hypothetical scenarios involving police issued UAS patrolling near their residence. Following the scenario, they were asked to provide responses to a validated UAS privacy scale and then answer a set of questions that served as potential predictors. The data reveal that seven factors (importance of privacy, attitude towards UAS, perceptions of whether police are corrupt, feeling of safety in the neighborhood, number of children, ethnicity, and support for police activity in the neighborhood) significantly predict participants’ privacy concerns about police usage of UAS in their neighborhoods. As the police employ UAS missions in public or near housing residences, it is important to consider the privacy concerns of residents and other citizens in the area. The results from this study provide information about what type of person is most concerned with UAS privacy issues.

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