Israeli Privacy Authority Publishes Draft Guidelines on the Use of Drones and Smart City Guidance

The Israeli Privacy Protection Authority (PPA) – Israel's regulatory and enforcement authority for personal data – has published draft guidelines on the use of drones and guidance for municipalities on privacy aspects of smart cities.
The draft guidelines, which do not apply to drones that collect information "for personal use that is not for business purposes", establish the following principles: 

  • Preconditions for the use of drones. Use of drones should be made based on an informed decision, following examination of the need for and possible alternatives to the use of drones. 
  • Proportionality. Drones must be operated in a proportionate manner that minimizes the scope of personal information collected, in accordance with the specific purpose for its use. 
  • Transparency. The public must be informed of the use of drones. This may be done, for example, by informing individuals in geographically covered areas on the use of droned by means of online advertising.
  • Information security. The data security obligations set out in the Privacy Protection (Data Security) Regulations apply to the collection and processing of information through drones.  

The PPA also issued guidance for local authorities on protection of privacy in smart cities. The guidance clarifies the obligations of local authorities in this context, including the following principles:

  • Purpose of processing. Local authorities must process residents’ information only for the purpose for which the information was collected.
  • Notification. Local authorities must inform residents, prior to collecting their information, whether they have a legal duty to provide the information, the purpose for which the information was collected, to whom the information will be provided and for what purpose.
  • Right to access. Local authorities are obligated to allow residents to review the information collected about them and rectify such information if it is not up-to-date or inaccurate.
  • Confidentiality. Local authorities and their employees must maintain the confidentiality of the information disclosed in the course of their work.
  • Information security. Local authorities have an obligation to protect their databases and to comply with the Privacy Protection (Data Security) Regulations. 

The guidelines focus on the use of surveillance and security cameras in the smart cities. Local authorities are required to, among others, explicitly define the purpose for placing surveillance cameras, ensure that the surveillance cameras’ footage is used solely for the purpose it was collected and inform the public about the placement of the surveillance cameras. The guidelines also prohibit transferring the surveillance cameras’ footage to third parties and the continued retention of such footage when it is no longer needed.

CLICK HERE to read the Israeli Protection of Privacy Authority’s Draft Guidelines on Drones (in Hebrew) 

CLICK HERE to read the Israeli Protection of Privacy Authority’s Smart Cities Guidance (in Hebrew)