Deceptive Deeds Done With UAVs: A Democratic Deficit in Canada
Mansour, Mark J.
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In recent years, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), known colloquially as drones, have proliferated throughout North America. Canada, in particular, has been favourable to the growth of the UAV market. Given that this topic requires analysis, this thesis endeavours to explore UAVs in a socio-historical context, one in which the origin of UAVs can be traced until its present manifestation. First, this thesis situates the concept of “politics of visibility,” which resides at the core of surveillance studies. Visibility, anchored in surveillance, helps scholars and the public to understand how UAVs operate and interact with their environment. Second, the theoretical framework of this thesis amalgamates concepts such as visibility with others notions, such as tracking, and considers how these terms function more broadly within a new military urbanism. Third, this thesis advances a theory of drones, one that identifies these devices not merely as “objects” but rather as technological devices with an “infused” politics. Fourth, this thesis situates UAVs within a Canadian context, one in which the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) has already utilized these devices for policing. The evolving nature of policing will be highlighted to demonstrate how archaic notions of policing from the previous century must be challenged and ideally overcome. Finally, this thesis investigates the implications of UAVs in relation to the two Canadian privacy statutes: The federal Privacy Act (1983), which regulates how the Federal government handles Canadians’ personal information, and the Personal Information Protection Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) (2000) which sets guidelines for organizations dealing with the personal information of Canadians.