Rio using “talking drones” to curb public gatherings

Rio using “talking drones” to curb public gatherings

In Rio de Janeiro, City Hall has begun using a drone to warn people about the dangers of public gatherings. With a loudspeaker attached, the drone broadcasts a recorded message that asks people to stay at home or keep a safe distance from others if they must be on the street. 

Per news website G1, routes will be guided by GPS data obtained from people’s mobile phones — and by information from a hotline created to receive complaints of public gatherings. The service, created late in March, has already registered more than 2,000 warnings, mainly in the west zone of the city. 

As of now, whenever the Rio de Janeiro Covid-19 crisis cabinet receives warnings, the drone will be deployed and the data gathered by the equipment will be stored. 

Data privacy

Later in the day, Brazil’s National Telecoms Agency published a report about the use of people’s GPS data. The regulator said the issue currently lies in a legal gray area, as Brazil’s General Data Protection Law (LGPD) might not be enforced before 2021. But it warned that any measure should only occur “as the result of a justified decision, with legal backing, and have the required transparency for watchdogs and society,” adding that any data collected now will be subject to the LGPD, as well as current legislation.