In the past, it was usually sufficient to create a high hedge on the edge of the garden to protect it from prying eyes. But nowadays, drones can skim over such obstacles and take pictures or even videos. This gives many a feeling of discomfort when such a device flies over its own garden. In front of the district court Riesa now a man had to answer, who grabbed in such a situation to the air rifle and took the drone from the air. The owner of the aircraft had reported him because of property damage and presented a bill in the amount of 1,500 euros. The judges decided now however: The shooting was appropriate in the context of the so-called self-help.
The owner of the drone was not visible
For the accused could well assume that the camera drone was in the air to take pictures of him and his family. But this would have violated the personal rights. In addition, because the drone can be controlled from a great distance, the man could not be expected to locate the owner and intervene there. So he would only have the opportunity to go into the house and escape the eyes of the camera. In this case, it could still have been that photos have been taken. For the judges was thus clear: The use of the air rifle was proportionate to protect the personal rights of the man and his family.
Proportionality must be assessed on a case-by-case basis
However, this is not a license for drone annoyed garden owners. Because the judges also stressed that this is an individual case decision. Proportionality must therefore be re-weighed each time. In the case now being negotiated, it also played a role, for example, in that the defendant's two small children were also in the garden, which meant that they had a particularly high need for protection. The Data Protection Conference has reiterated in this regard that the use of drones capable of taking pictures or videos on residences is allowed only with the express consent of the residents. This applies regardless of whether actually taken pictures or not.