What’s the law of taking aerial photos of buildings or people with my drone

Taking photos and filming with a drone, such as a multicopter or quadrocopter, is legally no different from taking photos with a handheld camera. It is first and foremost the right to personal privacy or the right to one’s own image of other people to be respected. This means that you are not allowed to photograph or film someone without your consent. In addition, these images may not be published under any circumstances, provided that these people can be recognized on the recordings.

Land and buildings

Land and buildings belonging to others may be photographed or filmed without consent and the recordings may be published, provided that the location of the camera is publicly accessible. However, recordings of courtyards or areas that would not be visible without using the drone are legally problematic.


The apartment area is particularly protected. Anyone who takes recordings in someone else’s home without permission can even be punished under Section 201a of the Criminal Code. In this context, recordings through window panes represent a particular problem. When filming with your drone, you should strictly ensure that you do not accidentally take pictures of interior spaces through window panes.

Landscapes and nature reserves

Landscapes may be recorded without permission and the pictures may be published as long as no strangers are clearly recognizable in the pictures. You should exercise caution if you want to fly your drone in a nature reserve. Although aerial photos of unspoiled nature are sure to be beautiful to look at, flying a drone is often prohibited in nature reserves.

Since the whole subject is a delicate one, as a driver of a multicopter it is better to ask too much for consent than too little.

Official institutions and hospitals

Particular attention is also paid to official buildings such as government institutions and hospitals. Here, too, the new drone regulation clearly stipulates that recordings with drones are generally prohibited. If you want to film and fly, it is always important to obtain special official permits in advance.

Apartments that border your property

Even with apartments that directly border your own property, it is important to protect the personal rights of third parties. In this context, you should also refrain from making recordings in which, for example, strangers can be recognized. This applies even if the recording is made from the airspace above your property.

If the maximum permitted height is exceeded

You must always adhere to the statutory provisions of the drone regulation. Landscapes and buildings above 100 meters may only be photographed with special permission.

When there are crowds of people

If there is a gathering of people on your property or in the immediate vicinity, recordings and overflights with the drone are not permitted.

Please make sure that you have taken out a corresponding drone insurance before using a drone .

The above answers do not constitute legal advice and should be assessed individually on a case-by-case basis. Rather, they are general statements on questions are asked frequently.

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