June 26, 2014

Peeping Tom drone? Woman dressing 26 floors up spots drone out her window

6-26-2014 Washington:

Welcome to the new world of technology as the first case of a drone peeping Tom is reported in Seattle. A woman on the 26th floor never thought she would have to worry about a peeping Tom until she spotted a drone outside her window, according to the New York Daily News on June 25.

Lisa Pleiss felt violated when she spotted this drone was flying outside her apartment window hovering about a block away as she was getting dressed. Was she going to show up in a video online?

That might be one of the first questions you’d ask yourself when a drone fitted with a camera was within the distance for filming or clicking pictures. It was a rude awaking for Pleiss who never thought anyone or anything could see inside her window 26 floors up. She reported it to the building’s Concierge, who immediately called the police, according to Seattle Times today.

The drone's owner is speaking up saying he was photographing the Seattle skyline, not looking in the windows of unsuspecting Seattle residents. Still, seeing the drone felt extremely violating to a woman used to seeing only birds fly by at that height.

When she first spotted the drone, she hid. Then she decided to snap a photo of the drone to have if she needed it as proof. She closed the blinds and called her building’s front desk. Curosity got the best of her apparently because she continued watching the drone’s moves.

She watched as the drone flew back to two men standing on a street corner. The men gathered up their equipment, including the drone, hopped in a car and were gone. Joe Vaughn, who owns the company Skyris Imaging said that the drone belonged to his company, in fact he owns a fleet of these flying vehicles that he uses to take aerial pictures.

He was adamant that he was not taking pictures of people and there is no way that he is a peeping Tom, said Vaughn. He uses the drones fit with cameras to take pictures of property, farm land and real estate.

In this particular incident, Vaughn’s company was hired to take pictures of the property that a builder was considering purchasing to build a new office building. It happened to sit adjacent to the building that Pleiss lives in.

Vaughn apologized to Pleiss and was very reassuring that he was not taking indecent pictures of her. He also shared some of the photos he took as evidence that her apartment wasn’t the subject of his photo shoot.

While Vaughn’s drone wasn’t a peeping Tom, the drones are getting more prevalent in society today. The prices have gone down and they’ve become very affordable. While this wasn't a peeping Tom drone, one could imagine it is just a matter of time before one is out there piloted by some thrill seeking person with his new toy!

The police say that the drone didn’t break any law as you can legally fly them. They are still investigating the case. While drones are legal to fly if someone reports a case of a peeping Tom drone, then that is something they would investigate. ..Source.. by Roz Zurko

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