California Legislature—2013–14 Regular Session

Assembly BillNo. 1327


Introduced by Assembly Members Gorell and Bradford

February 22, 2013


An act to add Title 14 (commencing with Section 14350) to Part 4 of the Penal Code, relating to unmanned aircraft systems.

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL’S DIGEST

AB 1327, as introduced, Gorell. Unmanned aircraft systems.

Existing federal law, the Federal Aviation Administration Modernization and Reform Act of 2012, provides for the integration of civil unmanned aircraft systems, commonly known as drones, into the national airspace system by September 30, 2015. Existing federal law requires the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration to develop and implement operational and certification requirements for the operation of public unmanned aircraft systems in the national airspace system by December 31, 2015.

This bill would generally prohibit public agencies from using unmanned aircraft systems, or contracting for the use of unmanned aircraft systems, as defined, with certain exceptions applicable to law enforcement agencies and in certain other cases. The bill would require the acquisition of an unmanned aircraft system, or a contract for the use of an unmanned aircraft system, for authorized purposes to be subject to the specific approval of the applicable public agency’s legislative body. The bill would require the legislative body, in approving the acquisition or purchase, to also adopt policies governing the use and deployment of the unmanned aircraft system. The bill would require reasonable public notice to be provided by agencies intending to deploy unmanned aircraft systems, as specified. The bill would require images, footage, or data obtained through the use of an unmanned aircraft system under these provisions to be permanently destroyed within 10 days, except to the extent required as evidence of a crime, part of an ongoing investigation of a crime, or for training purposes, or pursuant to an order of a court.

This bill would also prohibit a person or entity, other than a public agency subject to the above provisions or a person or entity under contract to a public agency, for the purpose of that contract, from using an unmanned aircraft system, or contracting for the use of an unmanned aircraft system, for the purpose of surveillance of another person without that person’s consent. The bill would provide that a person who is subject to surveillance without consent may seek and obtain an injunction prohibiting the use of images, footage, or data related to the person that was obtained through the surveillance, and would provide for the awarding of liquidated damages of five thousand dollars ($5,000) for each day of surveillance and any actual damages in excess of that amount.

Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: yes. State-mandated local program: no.

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:

P2    1

SECTION 1.  

Title 14 (commencing with Section 14350) is
2added to Part 4 of the Penal Code, to read:

3 

4Title 14.  UNMANNED AIRCRAFT SYSTEMS

5

 

6

14350.  

(a) A public agency shall not use an unmanned aircraft
7system, or contract for the use of an unmanned aircraft system,
8except as provided in this title.

9(b) A law enforcement agency may use an unmanned aircraft
10system, or contract for the use of an unmanned aircraft system, if
11it has a reasonable expectation that the unmanned aircraft system
12will collect evidence relating to criminal activity and if it has
13obtained a warrant based on probable cause pursuant to this code.

14(c) A law enforcement agency, without obtaining a warrant,
15may use an unmanned aircraft system, or contract for the use of
16an unmanned aircraft system, in emergency situations, including,
17but not limited to, fires, hostage crises, and search and rescue
18operations on land or water.

P3    1(d) (1) Except as otherwise provided in paragraph (2), a law
2enforcement agency may use an unmanned aircraft system, or
3contract for the use of an unmanned aircraft system, to block,
4interfere with, or otherwise control communication or data signals
5of electronic devices only if it has obtained an order of a court
6upon a showing of good cause.

7(2) The requirement for a court order shall not apply in
8circumstances involving an imminent threat to persons or property,
9provided that the unmanned aircraft system is deployed for a
10maximum duration not to exceed two hours.

11(e) A public agency may use an unmanned aircraft system, or
12contract for the use of an unmanned aircraft system, for the
13purposes of geological inspections related to the mission of the
14agency.

15

14351.  

The acquisition of an unmanned aircraft system, or a
16contract for the use of an unmanned aircraft system, for purposes
17authorized by this title shall be subject to the specific approval of
18the applicable public agency’s legislative body. The legislative
19body, in approving the acquisition or purchase, shall also adopt
20policies governing the use and deployment of the unmanned aircraft
21system, consistent with this title. In the case of a state agency, the
22legislative body shall be the Legislature.

23

14352.  

A public agency that uses an unmanned aircraft system,
24or contracts for the use of an unmanned aircraft system, pursuant
25to this title shall first provide reasonable notice to the public.
26Reasonable notice shall, at a minimum, consist of a one-time
27announcement regarding the agency’s intent to deploy unmanned
28aircraft system technology and a description of the technology’s
29capabilities.

30

14353.  

(a) Images, footage, or data obtained by a public agency
31through the use of an unmanned aircraft system authorized pursuant
32to this title shall be permanently destroyed within 10 days, except
33to the extent required as evidence of a crime, part of an ongoing
34investigation of a crime, or for training purposes, or pursuant to
35an order of a court.

36(b) Images, footage, or data retained by a public agency shall
37be open to public inspection, unless expressly exempt by law.

38

14354.  

(a) A person or entity, other than a public agency
39subject to Section 14350 or a person or entity under contract to a
40public agency, for the purpose of that contract, shall not use an
P4    1unmanned aircraft system, or contract for the use of an unmanned
2aircraft system, for the purpose of surveillance of another person
3without that person’s consent.

4(b) A person who is subject to surveillance without consent may
5seek and obtain an injunction prohibiting the use of images,
6footage, or data related to the person that was obtained through
7the surveillance. The person shall also be awarded liquidated
8damages of five thousand dollars ($5,000) for each day of
9surveillance and any actual damages in excess of that amount.

10

14355.  

Nothing in this title is intended to conflict with or
11supersede federal law, including rules and regulations of the
12Federal Aviation Administration.

13

14356.  

“Unmanned aircraft system” means an unmanned
14aircraft and associated elements, including communication links
15and the components that control the unmanned aircraft, that are
16required for the pilot in command to operate safely and efficiently
17in the national airspace system.



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