That drones might pose as security risk is well known to FAA but this is not preventing it from permitting its use in civil applications. Before it comes out with a ruling permitting full-fledged usage of drones for commercial and non-commercial purposes, it is allowing exceptions selectively on case-to-case basis. The most recent exceptions are for use of drones in taking photographs of buildings/properties that are on sale and for ‘crop scouting’ in agriculture.
In the field of agriculture, these can be used for making aerial surveys, taking aerial measurements of fields, ascertain health of crops in the fields, monitor the presence of pests and even be fitted with the sensors to gather a range of information which is not visible to naked eye. The use of drones in this way is expected to save time and labor of farmers who currently have to walk to different parts of their fields for inspections.
In the field of commercial real estate, these are expected to undertake aerial photos of the properties which are on sale so as to present the real-time videos for their listings. These would be helpful to prospective buyers. This can also be used to check the health of properties where it is difficult for man to reach, especially in case of the tall buildings.
FAA has also granted exemptions to 11 companies so far that are involved in oil exploration, film production, landfill, real estate, agriculture, etc.