The latest news about drones will undoubtedly spark more debate about how far users can go before it constitutes an invasion of privacy. Just ask Australian citizen Mandy Lingard, a grandmother and mom of three kids. She unknowingly became the star of a billboard for a real estate agent who used a drone to take aerial photographs of a million dollar home in Melbourne. Lingard, topless and wearing only a G-string, was accidentally included in the home’s listing and, needless to say, the woman wasn’t pleased, according to the Herald Sun‘s story.
A billboard erected on a pricey home in Mt. Martha was taken down Monday after it came to the attention of the real estate company that a woman, clad only in a thong, was getting more attention than the home listed for sale. That woman was Mandy Lingard, an Aussie small business owner who was near-naked in her own backyard while trying to soak up some sunlight. Little did she know, a drone was buzzing overhead and snapping photos of a neighborhood home. What is more, she was not aware at the time the UAV was taking photos of her semi-nude body. Lindgard spoke to media sources about the shocking drone incursion into her private space.
— Jayde Vincent (@JaydeVincent) November 16, 2014
“A couple of weeks later I walked out my door and thought ‘oh my god, that’s what it was doing’: taking photos. You could see [that] it’s our backyard and, quite clearly, it was me. It’s in the real estate magazine, it’s on the Internet and on the board and I’m really embarrassed.”
“I heard a noise and then I saw this odd thing flying around and thought it was a kid’s toy. It hovered around and luckily, I was face down at the time. My son has noticed it and he’s embarrassed that his mum is there.”
The drone photos of Mandy Lingard were posted on the Internet and ended up on the real estate agency’s website, and social media. As she said, the private photos of her sunbathing in the backyard of her home didn’t go unnoticed by family, friends, and scores of strangers.
Although the billboard photo that accidentally showed Lingard partially clad was taken down, her task to remove it from the Internet is going to be a complex undertaking. Ironically, Mr. Walsh, the real estate agent who mistakenly took the photo with the aerial drone and posted it on the billboard (and later removed the sign), defended the use of the new technology.
“It’s something that Google does and people use that everyday. Most bayside listings benefit from elevated shots to capture the setting.”
However, Mandy Lingard believes drone use by real estate agents should come with a fair warning to residents in the neighborhood before they take flight. However, current laws in Australia say it is legal as long as the operator has the required paperwork. Arguably, many don’t think that caveat flies.
[Image via: Mashable]