Let\u2019s say you are outside in your yard and a quadcopter flies overhead, but not quite over your property. You don\u2019t know if it\u2019s recording or, if it is, the level of detail the camera captures. What do you do? One man in New Jersey whipped out a shotgun and shot it down. That's crazy-scary, but was privacy the root issue? We\u2019ll get back to that in a bit.Video footage taken from a higher vantage point, such as a drone, can be stunning. The drone footage of thousands upon thousands of Hong Kong pro-democracy protestors, shot by Nero Chan, is a fine example of showing how many people are protesting \u201csince the riot police responded to demonstrations with tear gas.\u201d A bird\u2019s-eye view that would normally require a \u201cprivate plane, helicopter or balloon\u201d is why Martha Stewart \u201cloved\u201d her drone. In fact, she loved it so much that she now owns three drones. \u201cThey're nice to have to take aerial photographs of your own property, or of parties that you're having or spying on your guests. Or whatever,\u201d she said.There are safety issues when flying over a crowd, such as those that were cited among the reasons why the National Park Service banned unmanned aircraft from flying over America\u2019s national parks. But safety concerns were likely not the reason a New Jersey man shot down a drone; it\u2019s was likely about privacy.\u201cGet that f***ing drone off our property,\u201d a neighbor shouted at the dude flying the DJ Phantom Vision 2 quadcopter. Then \u201cboom, boom, boom\u201d barked the neighbor\u2019s shotgun in the direction of the little drone. Motherboard reported that the pilot called the police and the neighbor was arrested and then \u201ccharged with possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose and criminal mischief.\u201dMore than anything else about this latest \u201cdrone\u201d episode, the comments that are blowing up on Reddit really caught my attention.Enthusiasts point out that \u201cdrone\u201d is a buzzword which has demonized UAVs. The terms UAV, RC airplane\/helicopter, \u201ctoy aircraft\u201d and quadcopter are used less frequently in headlines. That might be for some of the same reasons \u201chacker\u201d is used in headlines as opposed to differentiating between ethical, cracker, griefer, penetration tester\u2026folks not into security don\u2019t know and don\u2019t care about the difference; there\u2019s a use of space issue as well since headlines can only be so many characters long. Even using \u201cattacker\u201d doesn\u2019t always work because those folks casually interested in security seem to respond better to \u201chacker,\u201d meaning they grasp the general gist of what the article will describe.For those reasons, it\u2019s unlikely using the term \u201cdrone\u201d in headlines will go away any time soon. Even the article describing the shot-down drone and how the \u201ctechnology is vilified and misunderstood by the media\u201d uses \u201cdrone\u201d in two different stories about the case.There\u2019s a huge debate surrounding whether flying a drone over, or close to, a person\u2019s yard would violate that person\u2019s expectation of privacy. While I don\u2019t believe most folks would opt for whipping out a gun and shooting down a drone flying over the edge of their property, surely most folks would tend not to like it. To illustrate this, I walked around my block and stopped to ask all the neighbors that I saw. None of them would appreciate a quadcopter equipped with a camera flying anywhere close to their yards.The drone pilot said he didn\u2019t fly over the neighbor\u2019s yard and Motherboard published a few photos to show the house that was being filmed and the location of the neighbor\u2019s house.If you are not a \u201cdrone\u201d hobbyist, it\u2019s likely that you don\u2019t know for certain the level of detail the camera can capture. That might lead to feeling like the drone was invading your privacy. Similar drones were recently used during search and rescue; the woman for whom three drones were searching was missing for a month. The captured details may not be super clear, but they are clear enough to be used to find a body.Regarding the degree of detail, enthusiasts point out that it\u2019s not like a quadcopter is equipped with a telephoto lens. In trying to show the lack of detail, the pilot magnified and zoomed in to show \u201cthe shooter and the woman he was with.\u201d It\u2019s pixelated enough that no one could describe those people for a crime sketch, but if that wasn\u2019t even taken over the neighbor\u2019s property, then it\u2019s not so hard to disagree with what Reddit commentor \u201cporkly1 wrote:\u201dThe drone guy states that you cannot see any details of the people on the ground, then the next photo shows details of the people on the ground. Drones are great, but there has to be some reasonable standards of use and image rights when a drone (is) hovering over someone's house.Many people suggested that the best compromise would be to go door-to-door to let neighbors know that the drone pilot would be flying over their property. From my little neighborhood experiment to find out if people would feel like their privacy was invaded, alerting all neighbors could turn into a time-consuming endeavor during which \u201csurveillance\u201d is sure to come up.Unless you want to be arrested, it\u2019s probably extremely unwise to shoot down a hobbyist\u2019s drone flying in the vicinity of your yard. But would you be cool with it if a drone taking photos or filming footage flew over the edge of your property, or would you feel like your privacy was invaded?I\u2019ll leave you with what I do like about drones\u2026amazing footage. It might not have been \u201csafe\u201d to do this, but a drone flying through fireworks gives us a perspective we\u2019d normally never have.