A not-entirely-clothed woman in Seattle was alarmed when she looked out of her 26th-floor apartment window and saw a drone cruising the skies outside. A police probe over peeping Tom fears ensued, but the company behind the UAV said today they were just trying to shoot an aerial panoramic for a developer.
"Now I kind of understand how violating it can feel when you're standing in your apartment and you don't even know who's there or potentially taking pictures of you," said Lisa Pleiss.
Joe Vaughn, founder of Portland-based startup Skyris Imaging, said he and a pilot of the drone were shooting a panoramic view for a client planning to build a 20-story office tower near the woman's apartment building.
Vaughn said he had talked by phone with the woman who complained.
"I called her and let her know I'm sorry she was startled but we were doing an honest job, we were not peeping toms," Vaughn said in a phone interview.
C'mon, you'd be freaked out too.
Hey, it looks like this Skyris tweet was sent on the day the incident took place:
Early morning aerial photography shoot in Seattle. Doing a view study for a new 20 story office development.— Skyris Imaging™ (@SkyrisNW) June 22, 2014
Seattle police say this is the first time they have been asked to investigate a case of "a drone possibly being used to peep on a person at a residence."
From the "Responsibility and Ethics" section of the Skyris website:
We respect privacy: Skyris will not conduct drone operations for one party to gather information about another party. We carefully plan each flight in advance to focus aerial photos or video on the subject of interest in order to maintain the privacy of others. All of our flights are conducted over property where we have the land owners permission.