Ethical Considerations in Drone Cybersecurity

Ethical Considerations in Drone Cybersecurity

Siva Raja Sindiramutty, Chong Eng Tan, Bhavin Shah, Navid Ali Khan, Abdalla Hassan Gharib, Amaranadha Reddy Manchuri, Lalitha Muniandy, Sayan Kumar Ray, Husin Jazri
Copyright: © 2024 |Pages: 46
DOI: 10.4018/979-8-3693-0774-8.ch003
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The rapid proliferation of drones, coupled with their increasing integration into various aspects of our lives, has brought to the forefront a myriad of ethical considerations in the realm of cybersecurity. This chapter delves deep into the intricate web of ethical challenges surrounding drone cybersecurity, aiming to provide a comprehensive understanding of this critical issue. The introduction sets the stage by highlighting the essential role of ethics in drone cybersecurity, emphasizing the need for responsible decision-making in an age where drones are omnipresent. It lays out the scope, objectives, and key concepts of the research, underscoring the contributions it makes to the field. The core of the chapter explores the ethical principles underpinning cybersecurity and elucidates how these principles can be applied to the domain of drone technology. The authors delve into the delicate balance between security and privacy, discussing the ethical implications of data collection, retention, and surveillance in the context of drones.
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Introduction To Ethical Considerations In Drone Cybersecurity

1.1 Overview of Drone Cybersecurity and Its Ethical Dimension

Drones, also referred to as Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), have garnered widespread acclaim and found applications in diverse sectors, including agriculture, surveillance, package delivery, and recreational purposes. This surge in drone adoption has raised a critical concern: cybersecurity. Securing drones against cyber threats is not only pivotal for their seamless functioning but also raises ethical dilemmas regarding privacy, safety, and the responsible utilization of technology. Cybersecurity in the realm of drones stands as a pivotal facet of their operation. Drones rely on intricate software and hardware systems, rendering them susceptible to cyber assaults. These attacks can target numerous facets, encompassing the communication link connecting the operator and the drone, the drone's onboard systems, and the data it accumulates. Guaranteeing the security of these components becomes indispensable in thwarting unauthorized access and malicious manipulations.

Figure 1.

Ethical considerations in drone cybersecurity


Drones communicate with operators through wireless connections, rendering them vulnerable to interception and hacking. The implementation of encryption protocols and the establishment of secure communication channels are paramount in safeguarding the exchanged data between the drone and the operator (Tanveer et al., 2022; Alferidah and Jhanjhi, 2022). Furthermore, safeguarding the drone's software and firmware from tampering assumes a critical role in averting unauthorized control or data breaches (Salamh et al., 2021; Ananna et al., 2023). The sphere of drone cybersecurity intertwines with ethical concerns, particularly in the realm of privacy. Drones equipped with high-resolution cameras and sensors can capture images and videos of individuals, properties, and sensitive locales. Unauthorized access to these devices can precipitate invasive surveillance, harassment, and the improper utilization of personal information. Furthermore, there exists an ethical duty to ensure that drone operators adhere to regulations governing privacy. Legal frameworks such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in the European Union necessitate drone operators to acquire consent from individuals before collecting their data (Voigt & Von Dem Bussche, 2017; Ali et al., 2020). Violations of these statutes can lead to legal repercussions and ethical quandaries.

Beyond concerns of privacy, cybersecurity assumes an imperative role in addressing safety hazards linked to drones. A compromised drone can pose a substantial threat to public safety. A malevolent actor could potentially seize control of a drone, resulting in collisions with other aircraft or objects on the ground. These safety concerns underscore the ethical obligation to fortify drones against malevolent interference (Al-Dosari et al., 2023; Ali et al., 2020a). The ethical facet of drone cybersecurity transcends privacy and safety apprehensions. Responsible and ethical drone operation encompasses elements of transparency, accountability, and adherence to established legal and regulatory frameworks. Operators should have well-defined policies and protocols in place to shield against cyber threats and to promptly respond to security breaches (Chamuah & Singh, 2023; Almoysheer et al., 2021). Furthermore, ethical considerations extend to the use of drones in military contexts and surveillance. The deployment of armed drones in military operations raises moral quandaries regarding remote warfare and the potential for collateral damage (Dambre, 2023; Anandan et al., 2021). Striking a balance between the advantages of drone technology and its ethical ramifications necessitates continuous deliberation and judicious decision-making.

In summary, the ascent of drones across various domains underscores the paramount significance of drone cybersecurity. Safeguarding drones from cyber perils is not just a technological imperative but also an ethical obligation. Concerns related to privacy, safety risks, and the responsible deployment of technology converge when addressing drone cybersecurity. Ensuring the security of these devices emerges as pivotal in safeguarding individuals, assets, and public safety while upholding ethical standards in their utilization.

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