BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



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          Date of Hearing:   May 13, 2015


                        ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS


                                 Jimmy Gomez, Chair


          AB  
          56 (Quirk) - As Amended April 22, 2015


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          |Policy       | Public Safety                 |Vote:| 6 -0        |
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          |             | Privacy and Consumer          |     | 9 - 1       |
          |             |Protection                     |     |             |
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          Urgency:  No  State Mandated Local Program:  YesReimbursable:   
          No


          SUMMARY:


          This bill regulates the use of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS),  
          as defined, by public agencies.  Specifically, this bill:  








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          1)Requires reasonable notice, as specified, to be provided by a  
            public agency and a law enforcement agency prior to using UAS  
            or contracting for the use of UAS.


          2)Specifies conditions for the use of UAS by a law enforcement  
            agency, without consent from the property owner or without  
            obtaining a warrant, over private property.


          3)Regulates the use of images, footage, or data obtained by a  
            public agency through the use of UAS.


          FISCAL EFFECT:


          1)Requiring every public agency or law enforcement agency that  
            intends to use UAS to provide notice to the public could  
            easily exceed $150,000, given the thousands of local agencies,  
            from local governments, to police departments, to water  
            boards, to mosquito abatement districts.  However, this is not  
            a reimbursable state mandated cost.  

          2)Likely minor state trial court costs to the extent that new  
            requirements regarding warrants and court orders occupy court  
            time. 
          
          COMMENTS:

          1)Background: The Aviation Administration Modernization and  
            Reform Act of 2012 provides for the integration of civil UAS,  
            commonly known as drones, into the national airspace system by  
            September 30, 2015.  The Act requires the Administrator of the  
            FAA to develop and implement operational and certification  
            requirements for the operation of public UAS in the national  
            airspace by December 31, 2015. 








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            Current state law permits a search warrant to be issued for a  
            variety of reasons.  A search warrant is an order in writing,  
            in the name of the people, signed by a magistrate, directed to  
            a peace officer, commanding him or her to search for a person  
            or persons, a thing or things, or personal property, and, in  
            the case of a thing or things or personal property, bring the  
            same before the magistrate.


          
            Current law also prohibits wiretapping or eavesdropping on  
            confidential communications.  However, current law provides  
            that nothing in the sections prohibiting eavesdropping or  
            wiretapping prohibits specified law enforcement officers or  
            their assistants or deputies acting within the scope of his or  
            her authority, from overhearing or recording any communication  
            that they could lawfully overhear or record.    

          2)Purpose.  According to the author, "We live in a culture that  
            is extremely sensitive to the idea of preventing unnecessary  
            government intrusion into any facet of our lives.  Drones, as  
            with other technologies, can be of great asset to the state  
            and improve public safety.  For example, the California  
            Military Department provided firefighters with aerial  
            surveillance while battling the massive Rim Fire in 2013 along  
            the foothills of the Sierra Nevada.  This aerial surveillance  
            allowed firefighters to tract the fire in real time, allowed  
            commanders to move firefighters out of harm's way and  
            reposition firefighters as the wind shifted the fire across  
            the mountainside.  However, privacy concerns are an issue that  
            must be dealt with effectively if the public is to support the  
            use of drones by their local law enforcement agencies."

            "Over the last few years, a number of law enforcement agencies  
            have purchased drones with no public input and little  
            transparency in the process. This has stirred feelings of  
            frustration, skepticism and concern from Californians  








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            regarding how drones will be operated. Though some agencies  
            have indicated that they are not intending to deploy them  
            anytime soon, allowing for some form of public forum as they  
            develop their policies and guidelines would help ease tensions  
            and help to build trust."


            "AB 56 will establish a set of parameters for the use of  
            drones in public and private spaces.  It restricts the sharing  
            of data between agencies (public and law enforcement) to  
            prevent the roundabout tracking of individuals.  Additionally,  
            this bill will create accountability within the law  
            enforcement community by requiring that they provide notice to  
            their governing agency or public on what they intend to use  
            (and not to use) drones for.  This bill recognizes that drones  
            can be a beneficial tool, but at the same time they can be  
            abused without the proper oversight or guidance on their use."

          3)Prior Legislation:  

             a)   AB 1327 (Gorell), of the 2013-2014 Legislative Session,  
               would have regulated the use of UAS by public agencies and  
               the dissemination and use of any images, data and footage  
               obtained by those systems.  AB 1327 was vetoed,  Governor  
               Brown expressed privacy concerns. 

             b)   SB 15 (Padilla), of the 2013-2014 Legislative Session,  
               would have required law enforcement to get a warrant for  
               drone use if it implicated a legitimate expectation of  
               privacy and would have limited drone use by public agencies  
               to within the scope of the agencies authority and prevented  
               public agencies from providing drone information to law  
               enforcement without a warrant.  SB 15 was held in Assembly  
               Public Safety.

          Analysis Prepared by:Pedro R. Reyes / APPR. / (916)  
          319-2081










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