The FAA's release of the Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) has started the process toward commercial operations. There are many questions and there will be many comments. From my point of view, the FAA needs to focus on safety and leave the political and social aspects of the application of UAV's up to other agencies.
Privacy is one area that will continue to block the implementation of public use of UAVs, but this should not be a real blockage. Those who we trust to defend our constitution are exactly the people who I trust to use UAV's. There can be simple meta-data added to the recorded information to validate that laws are not broken, and rules can easily be set in place to manage the usage.
Total operating cost is going to be the one way that socio-political-legal usages are going to be limited. The insurance industry is going to place limits on commercial operators by setting insurance rates according to the various risks involved. Agriculture will have low insurance cost because the most likely failure will only injure the field. Operations by those operating around crowed facilities will have higher insurance rates due to the risk of personal injury. Operation by fast flyers will be more expensive than slow flyers due to the radius of impact.
The NPRM represents the first good iteration on UAV's for civilian/commercial use.
Let's work with it. Let's get to work.