Americans Fret About Damage, Privacy Risks from Drones

September 10, 2014

Most Americans are worried that the increased use of drones in the U.S. could damage property, cause injury and create other new risks, according to a new report.

The Chubb Group of Insurance Companies surveyed 1,000 adults by way of independent market research company ORC International and found that a majority are concerned a drone could crash into their house or take their pictures without them knowing. Private use of drones should be prohibited, survey respondents said.

“As drones continue to be developed and deployed, we expect that an increasing number of our customers will face some risk of this emerging technology,” Christie Alderman, vice president of Chubb Personal Insurance, said in a statement. She said that homeowners’ insurance policies may be able to absorb some of costs connected to drone-related property damage.

Some of Chubb’s findings:

  • 73 percent of respondents said they are worried that a drone could crash into a house and cause major damage.
  • 55 percent said they were worried that drones could poke out an eye, cut a finger or cause other damage.
  • 78 percent said they were concerned that America could become a surveillance state with drones.
  • 60 percent said drones could photograph family members without their knowledge.
  • 50 percent said drones created risks about hacking into wireless networks.
  • 34 percent expressed worry that drones could steal things

With all of those risks in mind, 21 percent of respondents still said they’d want to buy a drone. But 67 percent said private citizens should not be allowed to operate one, even with a permit. Rather, respondents said by a wide margin that they would prefer law enforcement, the military and other arms of authority to use drones.

Even more interesting, 80 percent said that drones could serve a humanitarian use, such as delivering emergency medical aid.

Source: Chubb

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