Dronesgator logo

What to do if a Drone Spies on You (Complete Step by Step Guide)

Updated in 2022 by Paul Posea
why would a drone spy on me?

Drones can serve many purposes, and some of them are cool. For example, they can deliver packages, monitor weather conditions, take pictures and videos from the air, and assist farmers in crop management. Despite all the good uses for drones, there are still privacy concerns regarding drone use.

What to do if a Drone Spies on You? Once you are sure that a drone is spying on you, take the following steps:

1. Remain calm and don't let the drone intimidate you.

2. Document the incident. Try to get as much information about the drone as possible, such as its make, model, and any identifying markings. Take pictures or videos of the drone if possible.

3. Report the incident to the police.

4. Contact a lawyer. You may have legal options available to you, such as filing a restraining order or suing for invasion of privacy.

5. Take action to protect your privacy. This may include buying anti-drone technology or taking steps to limit the amount of information about you that is available online.

This article provides information on drone spying, including whether or not someone can spy on you. Moreover, it talks about the steps to take if someone is spying on you via drones.

What You Need to Know About Drones and Drone Spying

A drone is a small unmanned aircraft, usually controlled by a remote pilot. Many industries and professions use drones for photography, videography, and others. A drone can even help you find lost pets or spot potential problems with your roof. There are, however, less benign uses of drones, and a lack of awareness about how to avoid drone surveillance is widespread.

Did you know drones can collect information on people? That's right; the same technology that captures breathtaking aerial footage of the Grand Canyon can also capture footage of your front yard without your permission. The government may not be the only entity spying on you with drones: neighbors, businesses, and even suspected terrorists could be doing it.

What Is Drone Spying?

Drone use has become more and more prevalent in recent years, with law enforcement and government agencies utilizing them for a variety of purposes. One common use for drones is surveillance, or what is often referred to as "drone spying."

Drone spying is when someone uses an unmanned aerial vehicle ("UAV") to capture photos or video footage without your knowledge or consent. This may seem like an invasion of privacy. Still, it's legal under certain conditions, namely if you're in public view or within 250 feet of a building where there's no expectation of privacy.

The fact that someone would notice a person is taking pictures from above with a camera-equipped device might seem obvious. However, there are numerous ways to spy on another person using drones without their knowledge. For example:

  1. Drones equipped with cameras can now fly at night or in low light conditions.
  2. Drones feature high-resolution cameras and sophisticated stabilizing systems that allow them to be flown from a distance and still produce clear images. Drones feature high-resolution cameras and sophisticated stabilizing systems, allowing them to fly from a great distance and still produce clear images.
  3. Due to drones' high-powered microphones, you can listen to conversations from far away without the other party noticing.
  4. Drones can take pictures of individuals without their knowledge, which can then be used to blackmail or threaten them.
  5. A drone can collect information from a person while away from their computer, so they wouldn't know what's happening until it is too late.
  6. Drones can scoop up sensitive documents from people's desks or other places (such as in cars) where they left them unattended.

Can a Drone Spy on You?

Drones can spy on you. However, what makes a drone capable of snooping on you in the first place?

  1. Drones use cameras to record video and photos, and the camera doesn't need to be very big or high-quality to do this well. If a drone has a zoom lens and good lighting conditions, it can take pictures of you from far away without being detected.
  2. Though unlikely, drones may hear everything around them, including nearby conversations.  However, it's illegal for a drone to spy on you. Some laws protect you from being spied on by drones. In the United States, drones cannot spy on someone without their consent, nor can police officers or other government agencies that do not have a warrant or probable cause. 

A drone flying over your home with a camera attached needs your permission first. If those flying it don't have your consent, they could face fines or jail time.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has strict rules about what drones can do and when they can do it. Generally:

  • Drones cannot fly over people's heads.
  • Drones cannot fly above 400 feet from the ground
  • They must stay away from airports and other restricted areas. 

Sometimes, you might have given consent and then decided not to have the drone fly over your property, thus revoking the consent. In this case, you can contact the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The FAA will track the drone operator and tell them to stop flying over your home immediately. They could face penalties from the FAA and state law enforcement agencies across America if they fail to adhere to this request. 

If someone uses a drone to spy on you, they are breaking the law. Therefore, report them to the police or take legal action against them in court.

How to Know That a Drone is Spying on You

Drones are everywhere these days, and while they're great for taking pictures and videos, they can also track you.

Yet, how can you tell if a drone is spying on you? It's not always easy. Here are some tips for spotting a drone that may be watching you:

Radio

Counter-surveillance systems decode radio waves coming from drones and generate patterns that reveal where the signals originate. This can help you identify where the drone is and whether it's watching or recording you.

Apps

Certain apps can help you determine whether a drone is watching you. For example, with the Anti-Drone App, users can detect drone signals and get notified if a drone is nearby. Then, the app alerts other nearby users who also have the app to take precautions against being caught up in the drone operator's recording or surveillance (if one exists). 

Drone Detector also alerts users when there are drones close by through an alert on their phone screen.

Radar Detectors

A drone radar detector detects radiofrequency or Wi-Fi signals that may indicate the presence of a drone. These devices identify signals from drones up to two kilometers away from them. You can get one if you think someone might be spying on you.

Unusual Flight Patterns 

If a drone seems to be hovering over your house or workplace, it's probably someone curious about what's happening inside. Consider reporting them to the authorities immediately.

Also;

Check your phone regularly for any strange apps or services downloaded without your permission. Pay special attention to those with access to things like GPS location data or photo albums (like iCloud). If any apps on your phone seem out of place or unfamiliar, there could be something fishy.

What to do if a Drone Spies on You

There are plenty of ways to protect yourself against drone spying. Here are some tips for what to do if a drone spies on you:

  1. Learn how to recognize a spy drone. Spy drones look like other kinds of drones, so they might be hard to pick out at first glance. You can identify a scam, however, by observing a few telltale signs: 
  • The drone has no visible rotors and is hovering in mid-air without apparent movement.
  • It's flying very low.
  • It's flying at night.
  1. Take a picture of the drone. It will help identify what kind it was and where it originated.
  2. Don't run away or chase after the drone. Drones are fast and agile, so it's almost impossible to catch one in flight. Plus, if someone is spying, they will flee if they see that you are following them. Instead:
  3. Report to authorities if necessary. If you feel the person is violating your privacy or it's evidence of criminal activity (e.g., stalking), report it immediately to local law enforcement. Possibly, they can track down the drone owner and inquire about their intentions for spying on your property. 
  4. File a lawsuit against the person who flew the drone over your property if you have proof that they did it for malicious reasons (like trying to steal something). It could help deter people from doing this in the future.

How to Stop Drones from Spying on You

If you own a drone, there's no doubt that it can be an exciting and valuable tool. However, some people use drones for nefarious purposes to spy on you and your family. Here's how to stay safe from prying eyes in the sky:

  1. Use a Drone Jammer

This device emits radio waves that interfere with your drone's ability to communicate with its controller. It will stop the spying drone from flying or taking your pictures, and it might even cause it to crash.

  1. Use a Signal Jammer

This device works similarly to a drone jammer but only affects cell phone signals within its range (usually around 20 feet). The jammed signal will prevent anyone from tracking your location or intercepting calls.

  1. Use an app that tracks drone activity and alerts you when one flies near your home or workplace (such as Drone Shield). Thus, in the event of a drone appearing in your business area, you'll know right away whether it poses a threat to your safety or privacy before it's too late.

Conclusion

Some people violate others' privacy. Personal information theft, such as work or social profiles, is inevitable through small unmanned aerial vehicles (drones). This sad reality has caused some people to go to extreme lengths to protect their personal information.

However, it's illegal for a drone to spy on you without your consent. In some states, drones cannot spy on you. If someone spies on you with a drone, they could be subject to serious consequences depending on their state or the crime committed. If you've fallen victim to this type of crime, the above guide can help you get justice.

author-paul-posea-picture
Hi, I'm Paul.
A big drone enthusiast, reviewing, comparing and writing about drones since 2015. I'm all about helping people enjoy and even monetize their hobby.
paul posea
Paul Posea
Hi, I'm a long-time drone reviewer and I hope my articles and comparisons on this site as well as Dronesgator's youtube channel are of as much help as possible.

Get a FREE Beginner Drone  Checklist

drone-preflight-checklist-free-graphic.png
This checklist is made so you can always make sure you bring the things and do what's important before you fly. 
LET'S GO!
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram