Camera drones are now illegal for consumer use in Sweden, after a judiciary has ruled that they are surveillance devices.
The judgement came from a court that looked at two cases. The first was against bicycles with a mounted camera and the second was against private drones. The court found that the bike-mounted camera is fine because it goes where its owner goes, but that the drones are capable of seeing things out of sight. Drones must therefore be classed as surveillance devices. Should a pilot want to use one they will need to gain a permit and will only be allowed to use them to monitor personal property.
The ruling says that " the camera can be used for personal monitoring, although it is not the purpose. The camera is therefore to be regarded as a surveillance camera."
This has seen backlash from the industry that uses the devices for various activities including racing and nature photography. The Unmanned Arial System (UAS) association issued a statement in response to the ruling. "UAS Sweden held a board meeting and has set up a plan to forcibly try to get policymakers at all levels to realise how this wrong ruling strikes against an entire industry that employs thousands of employees and companies with billions in turnover."
The Swedish press is also against the ruling that means that camera drones are outlawed for news reporting.
Now the only people in Sweden who will be able to use drones without prior permission are the police, but with this public outcry, they might not have the means or will to prosecute drone flyers.