Drone Privacy Bill Soars Through Assembly

By Evan Kruegel, Local 5 News

Published 03/20 2014 11:23PM

Updated 03/20 2014 11:40PM


A bill addressing privacy concerns with unmanned aerial vehicles is now just a Governor Walker signature away from becoming law.

Local 5 introduced you to the bill back in January, when we sat down with the author - Rep. Tyler August.

                “We seek to let people know that it’s not okay to spy on your neighbor with one," he said. "But flying around in a public park? That’s just fine. Or flying it around on your own property? No problem.

The bill makes it illegal to record someone when they have a reasonable expectation of privacy. Drone expert Ken Simonson says the bill should clear the air for people nervous about the technolog


        "They think of the bad things first," he says. "There’s a lot of good things it can be used for.“

                Law enforcement agencies will now typically need to obtain a search warrant to use a drone, but the bill does pave the way for the vehicles to be used in certain situations.

             “If they’re executing an arrest warrant, or escaped convict, or in a search and rescue mission, amber alerts, silver alerts, those types of things we certainly left those options available for law enforcement," says August.

Simonson says the uses are unlimited.

"Use it for safety. Let’s say someone broke through the ice on the bay, and you had to get a rope out to them. You could fly the rope out there, or if you’re looking for a dog or something simple, it’s perfect for that kind of use.”

Minor changes made to the bill Thursday are expected to clear the Senate on April 1st before the Governor issues his signature.


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