Privacy, Safety & Ethics

PALADIN’s COMMITMENT TO PRIVACY, SAFETY, AND ETHICS

Our company was founded with the goal of changing the way first responders approach a situation. In professions in which the stakes are high, the pressure is intense, and quick decisions can be the difference between saving a home, de-escalating a situation, and protecting the public, information is paramount. We set out to create the future of first response – by changing the first responder to a fully autonomous drone – equipped with a best in-class camera. With this incredible tool comes a responsibility to uphold the public’s privacy and ensure that they feel comfortable as well as safer. We take this very seriously. This tool is intended to be used to help first responders and the communities they protect and serve. Below are some common questions and answers about privacy, safety, and ethics which we strive to embody and hope they serve as a guide to set a standard in the drone industry as a whole.

PALADIN’s COMMITMENT TO PRIVACY, SAFETY, AND ETHICS

Our company was founded with the goal of changing the way first responders approach a situation. In professions in which the stakes are high, the pressure is intense, and quick decisions can be the difference between saving a home, de-escalating a situation, and protecting the public, information is paramount. We set out to create the future of first response – by changing the first responder to a fully autonomous drone – equipped with a best in-class camera. With this incredible tool comes a responsibility to uphold the public’s privacy and ensure that they feel comfortable as well as safer. We take this very seriously. This tool is intended to be used to help first responders and the communities they protect and serve. Below are some common questions and answers about privacy, safety, and ethics which we strive to embody and hope they serve as a guide to set a standard in the drone industry as a whole.

Questions about our Privacy, Safety, and Ethics

Privacy

If a drone is flying overhead, is it recording me?

The Knighthawk drone takes off vertically to an altitude of 200ft (depending on local restrictions). The drone then flies at around 35 mph to the destination of the 911 call. Once there, the drone camera angles down and begins surveying the scene. From the drones home base to the location of the call, the drone cannot see specific details nor is it looking down. The only situation in which the drone camera will be angled down while traveling to the destination is if the caller cannot accurately identify and/or communicate the location of the situation or there is a search underway. In this case, the drone is not patrolling the city but searching for information that will help protect the community and its first responders. When the drone is returned to home (RTH), the camera angles back to a straight view and is again unable to see and record what it is flying above. Departments have the ability to record the entire call or to toggle recording on and off based on city and department policies. Whether recording or not, Paladin is very strict in that if the camera is angled down while moving, there must be a 911 emergency in which the drone is being used to assist first responders.

Does Watchtower include facial recognition technology?

Watchtower does not have facial recognition.

Where and how is the footage stored?

If a flight is being recorded, the department has the option to store it on the cloud or on physical servers. The Watchtower system has automatic flight logging to help departments stay organized, and each flight that is recorded can be found in the log. 

Who has access to the live video feed?

Watchtower uses login passwords to control access, and the levels of use are controlled via different permission settings, including the options of view only, or being allowed to control the drone and the camera. Users can view the live feed and recordings on a smartphone or computer, ensuring that multiple first responders get quick overview of dynamic situations, and can respond proportionally.

Safety

Who can fly the drone?

Only FAA-certified (Part 107) pilots are allowed to be the pilot in command (PIC). They are allowed to transfer control however unlicensed persons cannot operate the UAS like a normal drone. Our platform has different levels of control that provide unlicensed and unexperienced people very simple controls that are still very effective at gathering intelligence.

What if the UAS flies away?

The Knighthawk has numerous built-in safety features to prevent flyaways. If the Knighthawk loses connection to the LTE network for longer than 5 seconds, it automatically returns to home. In the event of a flyaway happening, the Knighthawk is capable of controlled descent.

What if the UAS crashes into a tall obstruction?

The Knighthawk flies at a fixed altitude of 200ft (in airspace that allows for that height of flight). The teleoperator cannot lower the Knighthawk below or above 200ft. If the Knighthawk is only allowed to fly at 100ft per the waivers we obtain, the drone can automatically lower. As part of setting up a DFR (Drone as First Responder) program, a Paladin representative visits the city and maps out any restricted airspace and any obstructions (tall buildings, radio towers, etc.) and geofences them off. Geofencing acts as an invisible wall, which the Knighthawk cannot pass through. Even if the drone loses connection, it knows where it’s homebase is and still has the geofencing parameters onboard to avoid obstructions and restricted airspace.

The black overlay demonstrates to the PIC the limits to where the UAS may go and is the geofence. The grey circles are taller objects but are not a direct danger to the UAS. The red circle indicates a geofence due to an obstruction that would directly interfere with UAS operations, for example, a tall building. If a Knighthawk crosses a boundary, it avoids the geofence and/or can auto-RTH.

Can the UAS crash into another aircraft?

While we plan each departments operation meticulously, mapping out local airports and helicopter activity in coordination with the FAA, we ensure that there are officers around to watch the sky for intruding manned aviation, who can communicate with the pilot in command and ensure that they are aware of any unusual obstacles in the airspace.

Will the UAS crash if it runs out of battery?

The Paladin software algorithm activates an autonomous return to home with enough reserve battery charge to handle extraneous landing conditions. Once it lands, the batteries are changed, and it is prepared again for take-off.

Ethics

 

Does Paladin make weaponized drones?

No, Paladin has not, nor will it engage in adding weapons (including teargas) to its drones and prohibits the use of the Knighthawk for any use that entails causing physical harm to humans, including using drones to interrogate humans. We believe in drones as de-escalatory tools with the purpose of providing first responders with life saving information.

Are the drones used for routine police patrols?

This topic is very important to Paladin. The answer is never. Public safety agencies are not allowed to use the Paladin DFR system for routine patrolling. When a 911 call following an emergency has occurred, the Knighthawk can be deployed to get a live video feed. If there is not a call corresponding to the launch in the department’s CAD, it is against Paladin’s policies to use our technology.

Do the departments Paladin works with communicate they are using drones to their local communities?

Yes. We encourage the departments using our system to reach out to their local communities and share information on how using drones will benefit them. Some cities also require city council approval before departments start drone programs, providing another layer of accountability.

Privacy

If a drone is flying overhead, is it recording me?

Text: The Knighthawk drone takes off vertically to an altitude of 200ft. The camera is angled straight the whole time. The drone then flies at around 35 mph to the destination of the 911 call. Once there, the drone camera angles down and begins surveying the scene. From the drones home base to the location of the call, the drone cannot see specific details nor is it looking down. The only situation in which the drone camera will be angled down while traveling to the destination is if the caller cannot accurately identify and/or communicate the location of the situation or there is a search underway. In this case, the drone is not patrolling the city but searching for information that will help protect the community and its first responders.

Where is the footage stored?

If a flight is being recorded, the department has the option to store it on the cloud or on physical servers. Watchtower has automatic flight logging to help departments stay organized and each flight that is recorded can be found in the log.

Who has access to the live video feed?

This is decided by the entity. Watchtower uses login and passwords to control access and different permissions settings allow for different levels of use. The options are view only or having the ability to control the drone and the camera. Users with permission can view the live feed and recordings on a smartphone or computer.

Safety

Is Knighthawk safe?

Text: The drones have numerous builtin safety features to prevent flyaways. For example, if Knighthawk loses connection to the LTE network for longer than 5 seconds, it automatically returns to home. In the event a flyaway happens, Knighthawk is capable of performing a controlled descent.

Is there Detect and Avoidance? In other words, will the drone crash into the side of a building, tree, home, etc?

Knighthawk is set at a fixed altitude of 200ft (in airspace that allows for that height of flight). The teleoperator cannot lower Knighthawk below 200ft or raise it above 200ft. If Knighthawk is flying in airspace that only allows for 100ft flight per the waivers we obtain, the drone can automatically lower. As part of setting up a DFR program, a Paladin representative goes to each city and maps out any restricted airspace and any obstructions (tall buildings, radio towers, etc) and geofences them off. Geofencing acts as an invisible barrier so the Knighthawk won’t physically cross that line and crash.

Ethics

Do Paladin’s drones do patrols?

Public safety agencies are not allowed to use the Paladin DFR system for patrolling. Only when a 911 emergency has occured can a Knighthawk be deployed to get a live video feed. We believe that using drones for patrol could potentially cause privacy concerns and make citizens uncomfortable. Paladin’s drones are allowed to patrol facilities for security purposes. A railyard or energy plant’s security team may use Paladin to patrol their private property which allows them to more efficiently maintain security. The key difference is that one can potentially be harmful whereas patrol for security purposes is extremely helpful.

If I call 911, will only a drone respond?

This is up to the department. Drones as First Responders (DFR) is meant to be a tool that aids first responders by preparing them ahead of time for each situation they arrive at. With that being said, the drone is capable of showing a live stream in which departments can get eyes on and clear a situation.

Paladin Drone's Commitment to Privacy and Transparency

Our company was founded with the goal of changing the way first responders apporach a situation. In professions in which the stakes are high, the pressure is intense, and quick decisions can be the difference between saving a home, de-escalating a situation, and protecting the public, information is paramount. We set out to create the future of first response – by changing the first responder to a fully autonomous drone – equiped with a best in-class camera. With this incredible tool comes a responsibilty to uphold the publics privacy and ensure that they feel comfortable as well as safer. We take this very seriously. Below are some common privacy questions and answers that serve as a guide and aim to set a standard in the drone industry as a whole.

If a drone is flying overhead, is it recording me?

The Knighthawk drone takes off vertically to an altitude of 200ft. The camera is angled straight the whole time. The drone then flies at around 35 mph to the destination of the 911 call. Once there, the drone camera angles down and begins surveying the scene. From the drones home base to the location of the call, the drone cannot see specific details nor is it looking down. The only situaton in which the drone camera will be angled down while traveling to the destination is if the caller cannot accuratley identify and/or communicate the loaiton of the situation. The drone is then used to search for it enabling first responders to get their faster.

Is this legal?

We work exclusively with first responders and are pioneering the concept of Drones as First Responders (DFR). This means that each department that uses our service has a custom plan with the FAA to ensure that safety and privacy are being upheld. Paladin Drones specifically handles this portion of the process in order to ensure that our privacy and safety standards are being met.

Can the public request footage?

Departments reserve the right to show footage to the public. All footage is stored on the cloud by default but can be located on department servers if requested.

Can Paladin drones patrol neighboorhoods without there being an emergency?

Paladin drones cannot be deployed wihtout an incoming 911 call. They are strictly for first response to a 911 call. They will not patrol neighboorhoods without cause for a search.

Who controls the camera?

Any first responder with the watchtower software can control the camera. Fire, police, and EMS can all watch the live stream while en route.

When does a drone deploy?

Only after a 911 call is recieved and only when first responders deem it necessary.

If I call 911, will only the drone respond or will other units arrive?

TThis is up to the department. Drones as First Responders (DFR) are meant to aid first responders by preparing them ahead of time for each situation. With that being said, the drone is capable of showing a live stream in which departments can get eyes on and clear a situation.