Drones: Balancing Innovation with Privacy
Our technology is advancing at lightning speed, bringing enormous opportunities. But we need to ensure that our long-held values are not compromised or sacrificed.
I have a bill to prohibit remotely operated aerial vehicles known as drones from trespassing on private property without permission. California law already prohibits someone from entering private property - a home or backyard, for example -- without the owner's permission, and photographing or recording conversations. My Senate Bill 142 clarifies that the rules pertaining to trespassing and the physical invasion of privacy also apply to drones. Simply put: if you cannot hop the fence into someone's backyard under current law without the owner's permission, I believe you should not be allowed to do the same with a drone.
Drones have a lot of innovative uses. They have been used to fight fires and survey farm lands. They may soon apply pesticides or deliver packages. My bill would continue to allow drone use in public spaces, in areas where the owner has given permission, and on one's own property. Commercial drones could still operate in a zone 350-500 feet above ground. But nearly every week we hear of new incidents involving security and privacy concerns and drones. I believe we can set reasonable limits that allow innovative uses while protecting our private property, privacy and security.
Protecting Californians' privacy - a right enshrined in our state Constitution - will continue to be a priority of mine. I always appreciate hearing from you, so please feel free to stay in touch by email, or follow me on Facebook and Twitter.
Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson
State Senator, 19th Senate District