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Federal government takes on domestic drone legislation

The federal government is working on new rules that could expand permits for drones in the coming years.

Here's an update on what are commonly known as drones -- or what some call "unmanned aerial vehicles".

This week, the Senate Judiciary Committee has been looking into the use of drones in America and how they might affect privacy. The federal government is working on new rules that could expand permits for drones in the coming years.

"There really aren't a lot of laws in place that explain what's allowed with drones in terms of safety and privacy," says Ben Popper, who has been covering this story for the online tech news site The Verge. "So there has been a rush by states and cities to pass legislation often aimed at their own government employees and law enforcement."

Popper says while cities and states can't ban drones -- that power lies with the FAA -- they can restrict their own employees from using them.

To hear more about what institutions and businesses are using drones, click on the audio player above.

Tell us: While "Unmanned Aerial Vehicle" is the accepted term, you may have noticed it's not gender-neutral. If you have a better suggestion, let us know in a comment below.

About the author

David Brancaccio is the host of Marketplace Morning Report. Follow David on Twitter @DavidBrancaccio
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Let's be honest and call them "Flying Killer Robots."

I know some will disagree, but "unmanned" Is gender neutral since it refers to mankind (our entire species, by definition). The sort of petty thinking that insists on gender neutrality is a bit annoying; it detracts from both the flow of prose and from the actual ideas we are trying to communicate (which are far more important than the phrasing).

ROAVs - Remote Operated Aerial Vehicle(s)

Or

RPAVs - Remote Piloted Aerial Vehicle(s)

"Unmanned Aerial Vehicle" can be called "Autonomous Aerial Vehicle" since they probably have some controls engineered for automation.

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