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Drones and policing: assessing practical and ethical challenges of developing and using advance technology for surveillance, search, and crime scene mapping in the United Kingdom and Korea

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The issues of the development of autonomous weapons lacking meaningful human control are significant for any organisation that seeks to use drones for policing, security, commercial or military purposes such as KAIST case which was not in the process of producing weapons. Against this background of advances in AI and drone technology, practical application, public controversy and ethical concern, the authors propose the use of drone technology in three distinct aspects of policing: surveillance, search, and outdoor crime scene mapping. The ethics of police decision-making around the use of drones will always take place within that tension between deontological (process and rule-following) ethics and utilitarian (outcome-based) ethics. Such are the ethical complexities that must be considered when using drones for police surveillance, either in the UK or in the Republic of Korea, a complexity that will increase as technology advances and security threats proliferate.
Original languageEnglish
JournalSecurity Journal
Publication statusAccepted for publication - 1 Apr 2020


  • Drones and Policing-Practical and Ethical Challenges

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    Accepted author manuscript (Post-print), 836 KB, PDF document

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