But they are used for good as well.
Take this project to map the Matterhorn for example, usually a treacherous task due to the mountain's inclement weather and inaccessible slopes.
Mapbox teamed up with Sensefly - makers of some pretty nifty fixed-wing drones - to map the entire thing in just six hours.
The end result
Adam Klaptocz, R&D engineer at Sensefly said: "The goal of this particular mission was to push the limits of data gathering with drones in the most challenging mountainous conditions.
"Such a combination of high altitudes, steep rocky terrain and sheer size of dataset has simply not been done before with drones, we wanted to show that it was possible!"
The end result is a highly accurate map of the Matterhorn which has implications far beyond just creating pretty 3D models.
Klaptocz adds: "Beyond this particular mission, we're hoping that the lessons that we've learned here in the Alps can be applied in similar hard to reach places, whether for mapping landslides to aid first responders or tracking receding glaciers to study climate change."