Everyone read the news last week of a group of pigeon hunters shooting down a small drone flown my an animal right group. That act followed closely on the heels of new legislation that allows private commercial interests to use drone aircraft. The FAA has 90 days to put the regulations into practice. So, to my mind, the question becomes how this legislation falls against my privacy concerns, and what property rights do I have to the airspace above my property?
It's generally accepted that general aviation can fly above my property. We also generally accept that satellites can take pictures of our property. Google Maps is a huger commercial success because of such photographs. So, my airspace doesn't extend to infinity, but I have a reasonable expectation of privacy in my backyard behind my privacy fence. The concept of curtilage is well established in American jurisprudence. I"m pretty sure that if someone flew an aircraft mere inches across my property, I might have a reason for action. If I can control the airspace inches above my grass, but not miles above my grass, then at what flight level do I have an expectation of privacy?
This article in the New York Times has some good background on the questions, as does this posting at Volokh. There are lots of questions to be answered with the proliferation of drones, but few good answers. The pigeon shooters in North Carolina may well have the best answer of the bunch.