There may indeed be laws limiting the places in which aerial drones can be flown, but if someone sees a drone breaking one of those laws – particularly if it's from a distance – how do they know who's responsible? Drone manufacturer DJI has suggested a solution, in the form of what amounts to an "electronic license plate."
The idea is that all drones would come equipped with inexpensive radio equipment that transmits both their location and a user-specific identification code.
Although anyone utilizing the proper receiver could read and make note of that code, only officials such as police officers or aviation authorities could match it up to the specific user. In that way, the user's privacy would still be maintained, yet they would also be accountable for their actions.
It would be similar to the manner in which all cars currently have license plates, allowing laypeople to report traffic infractions without knowing the identity of the drivers.
DJI has prepared a white paper on the concept, which was presented to the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International last week.