• HigherGround

Drones and Interaction Storage

Updated: May 23, 2019

By Ric Cahak

Photo courtesy of OnyxStar Drones

The use of drones is becoming more and more prevalent in a variety of commercial markets. For example, Amazon is planning to use drones to deliver smaller packages to some of its customers, and the real estate industry uses them for aerial photos and videos of properties. It is not surprising that the use of drones is also becoming a commodity with Command and Control environments, including first responders. However, this widespread use of drones brings positives and negatives to this emerging market. Rather than avoiding innovative technology because of potential risks, it may be enlightening to examine the challenges, and consider ways to take advantage of the benefits while mitigating risks. The Positives

  • Situational awareness: Drones can provide a great deal of aerial/overhead information not easily obtainable without a helicopter or a large, expensive flying device. Similar to observation balloons used in World War I, drones can relay video information that will greatly improve situational awareness.

  • Source of instant high-level Intel: Drones can carry sensors and other equipment besides video cameras. One current application used for fire-fighting and rescue is a drone with an infrared or thermal imaging camera that can see hot spots through the smoke. The drone is able to locate the hottest parts of a wildfire or to find bodies trapped in a building. Flying the sensor overhead, different angles of a scene can be captured.

  • Faster delivery for mission critical applications: In some areas drones can deliver equipment faster than a wheeled vehicle and in tighter spaces than a helicopter. In the event that a rescue team is in an area that is not accessible to vehicles and medical supplies are needed, the drone can drop the supplies right next to the rescuers.

The Negatives

  • Regulatory ambiguity: The FAA has established regulations for private and commercial drone use. However, the use of cameras and sensors on drones in public and private areas creates an array of ambiguities that the FAA cannot regulate. Such regulations fall into the jurisdiction of additional organizations in the realm of constitutional consideration. In addition to potential 4th amendment issues, the use of video surveillance could be a violation of 5th amendment rights. Regardless of any constitutional issues, regulatory ambiguity will remain an issue as first responders put more drones into use.

  • Invasion of privacy vs. national security interests: The use of drones brings the issue of privacy verses security to a new level. Drones move freely all around in public and private places. They can carry video, audio detection, bio/chemical/nuclear sensors, and much more. They cross the blurred lines between privacy and security with ease.

  • Insurance liability boundaries: Drone incidents create a whole new level of liability questions and uncharted insurance territory. Who is the liable party? These rulings will depend on airspace restrictions and legal decisions regarding public, personal and private space.

How does interaction storage and analytics play a role with drones and their regulations? With all the positives and negatives that surround drones, interaction storage and analytics can enhance the good while alleviating the risks. Here are some examples:

  • Recorded data from drones can be processed extremely quickly for sorting, organizing, analyzing, and redistribution, and quickly provide context and improved situational awareness. This is of key importance to enable efficient and timely response of PSAPs and first responders. The role of call recording/data management will move towards interaction storage and in-memory processing of big data/analytics.

  • Data security: Interaction storage systems have built-in encryption capabilities that ensure the protection of all captured data. The captured information can be traced through system logs and digital signatures to ensure data integrity.

  • Records for recreation: Interaction storage systems can capture all incoming information, allowing for incident recreation that is needed for legal actions, audit review, and even other purposes.

  • Regulatory conformance: Current interaction storage systems already provide the ability for regulatory conformance. With the addition of software-based systems they can adapt to new regulations as needed.

Drones will continue to be employed more frequently. Interaction storage and analytics can make sure this is done in a positive and productive way. We would love to hear thoughts on drones and interaction storage! Share with us on social media.


About the Author - Ric Cahak leads HigherGround's service and support operations and oversees the development of new products and technological advancements. He previously worked with AT&T as both Manager of Operator Services and Sales Manager, and with the William Morris Agency as Telecommunications Director. Click here for more information on Ric and the rest of the HigherGround team!

HigherGround, Inc. provides best-in-class, reliable data capture and interaction storage solutions that enable clients to easily retrieve critical information. Our interaction recording and incident reconstruction solutions transform data into actionable intelligence, allowing optimization of operations, enhanced performance, and cost reduction.


#technologysolutions #qualityaudit #informationstorage #missioncriticalcommunications #callrecordingsoftware #callrecordingsystem

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