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The incredible, job-creating drone

To the editor: The Times makes a clear case for the many benefits of unmanned aircraft systems in California, from fighting wildfires to growing grapes, studying the environment to saving lives. However, it makes recommendations that could chill the growth and potential of this technology. ("State Senate should approve proposed drone regulations," Editorial, July 28)

Privacy is an important issue, and as such, any new privacy laws should focus on the real issue at hand: the collection and storage of data, not the platform doing the collecting. The focus on privacy laws for specific platforms is misguided, and at the same time it would likely curb innovation.

As The Times says, the beneficial applications of unmanned aircraft systems abound. Meanwhile, the Assn. of Unmanned Vehicle Systems International estimates that UAS integration could create more than 18,000 jobs in California.

Legislators should be cautious about passing restrictive regulations that could deny us the societal or economic benefits of this promising technology.

Matthew Sanford, San Diego

The writer is manager of economic development at the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corp.

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To the editor: Thousands of years ago in Sumeria, the great epic story of the flood began with the gods deciding to punish human beings because their civilization was too noisy. We have arrived again at the same place, where our society batters our senses every waking moment. Now drones in the skies, some as small as hummingbirds, will assault us as we try to find any tranquil spot.

Who has made the momentous decision to allow this new pollution? It originated with military research and practice, was adopted without a citizens referendum by industry and the police, and has been vetted by a judge or two. Now The Times is complicit in one more imposition of technology on a supposedly free citizenry.

Not so fast. I, for one, prefer real hummingbirds.

Jean E. Rosenfeld, Los Angeles

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