Watch a drone flyover of the construction of Apple's new Cupertino Campus

apple headquarters
Video screen capture Duncan Sinfield on Youtube

If I were Tim Cook, I think I would mount lasers or anti-aircraft guns around the new Apple campus to stop these drone videos. Videographer Duncan Sinfield posted this one two weeks ago and I have not put it up on TreeHugger because I find it invasive and totally creepy, using Steve Jobs' voice from his presentation to Cupertino City Council. But after Mike posted drone videos of the big box of a Tesla factory I reconsidered, because these videos are actually fascinating in a voyeuristic sort of way, and also because we have given so much coverage to this building. (See related links below)

To paraphrase Otto von Bismarck, in a lot of ways, making a building is like making sausages; it is better not to see them being made. To a privacy obsessed company like Apple, it must be seriously aggravating; they would never let you see an iPhone under construction a year before it was released. To an architect, it's like going out in public in your underwear; a few discreet peeks are OK but the real story is the finished product. There are guidelines for those who flew model aircraft before drones came along; they are explicit and according to drone site Know before you fly, drone pilots are supposed to follow them.

The use of imaging technology for aerial surveillance with radio control model aircraft having the capability of obtaining high-resolution photographs and/or video, or using any types of sensors, for the collection, retention, or dissemination of surveillance data or information on individuals, homes, businesses, or property at locations where there is a reasonable expectation of privacy is strictly prohibited by the AMA unless written expressed permission is obtained from the individual property owners or managers.

That's a guideline only though not the law. In California legislators are discussing a drone trespass law that will prohibit drone overflights of private property at an altitude of less than 350 feet. I wonder if Apple is behind it.

I also wonder, am I alone in this? Should drones be allowed to fly over private property and take videos? Or is it a public good? And don't start calling me a regulation-mad lefty again; Even libertarian Rand Paul says he would regulate drones with his shotgun.

And read the 88 comments in this post, Tim Cook calls the new Apple headquarters "the greenest building on the planet". It's not. and you will see that nobody agrees with me about the building, either.


Tags: Apple Inc | California

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