Following public outcry and widespread attention from the Los Angeles Police Department's (LAPD) obtaining two unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), the California State Senate has passed AB.1327, a measure that restricts how UAVs can be used by police and other public agencies.
According to a Reuters report, the bill, which garnered a 25-8 vote, says that law enforcement must have a warrant in order to operate UAVs – unless it is for an emergency situation (e.g., fires). Public agencies other than law enforcement can operate UAVs for a “core mission” if it does not include surveillance, the report says.
The law also mandates that after one year, agencies must erase all information obtained from the aircraft.
The bill will now move to the California Assembly and if passed, to Gov. Jerry Brown.
In June, the Seattle Police Department gave the LAPD two Draganflyer X6 aircraft. An anti-drone group called ‘Drone-Free LAPD/No Drones, LA!’ recently organized a protest and wrote a letter to California Mayor Eric Garcetti that the LAPD’s drones represent a ‘militarization of local law enforcement’ and will “exacerbate the flagrant violation of privacy rights” of citizens.
Read the full Reuters report here.