Warning that modern technology could bring us into an Orwellian world, Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor on Thursday said that drones and other advancements have serious privacy implications that Americans need to be talking about and deciding how to keep in check, according to The Wall Street Journal. In particular, Sotomayor is reported to have honed in on drones, which don't simply enable government intrusion — but potentially intrusion by members of the public as well.
"I don’t like the fact that someone I don’t know ... [can] fly it over my property."
"There are drones flying over the air randomly that are recording everything that’s happening on what we consider our private property," Sotomayor said while speaking to an audience at Oklahoma City University, according to the Journal. "That type of technology has to stimulate us to think about what is it that we cherish in privacy and how far we want to protect it and from whom."
Sotomayor is also reported to have called out technology that can allow people to listen in on conversations from miles away or through walls. Broadly, she considers these to be frightening advancements in surveillance technology — not necessarily saying that they're bad, but telling the crowd that Americans need to become actively involved in the ongoing privacy debate. "I don’t like the fact that someone I don’t know … can pick up, if they’re a private citizen, one of these drones and fly it over my property," she reportedly said. Sotomayor may one day be asked to resolve such problems in court, but she also seems to be hoping that by provoking a more active debate now, it could result in Congress dealing with these issues first.