Drones chasing people around during a worldwide pandemic to determine if they’ve been infected with the coronavirus seemed too much like something out of a sci-fi movie, fraught with privacy and security concerns, for a Connecticut town that joined, then quickly ditched its plans to participate in, the Draganfly drone Flatten the Curve program.

“In our good faith effort to get ahead of the virus and potential need to manage and safely monitor crowds and social distancing in this environment, our announcement was perhaps misinterpreted, not well-received, and posed many additional questions,” First Selectman Jim Marpe said in a statement. “We heard and respect your concerns, and are therefore stepping back and re-considering the full impact of the technology and its use in law enforcement protocol.”

In an attempt to stop the spread of the virus, the Westport Police Department had planned to test the drones to enforce social distancing and to detect fever or coughing from up to 190 feet away. But those plans troubled citizens and privacy experts alike.

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