35 States Consider Restricting Drones as Privacy Worries Grow

This year, 35 states are considering drone legislation as concerns over privacy rights and government intrusion mount.

"It's in its nascent form now, but it's growing and will be growing in the future," Steve Erickson, who leads a privacy watchdog group called Citizens Education Project, told Utah legislators. 

Some states say they have strictly limited their use of drones to search and rescue missions and spotting fires.

Brigham City, Utah, for example, uses a 20-inch long, black, $7,000 multirotor drone for search and rescue missions involving lost hikers. The drone is equipped with a GPS and high-definition camera and can fly for up to two miles.

In Rhode Island, legislators are debating legislation that would require law enforcement to hold public hearings before being granted the ability to buy and deploy drones.

California lawmakers are considering laws that would require public notices of drone usage and a police warrant. The measure would also mandate that information collected by drones be destroyed within six months and would ban law enforcement from weaponizing drones.


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