BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    

                             SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE
                         Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson, Chair
                             2015-2016  Regular Session

          AB 56 (Quirk)
          Version: July 7, 2015
          Hearing Date: July 14, 2015
          Fiscal: Yes
          Urgency: No

                              Unmanned Aircraft Systems


          This bill would prohibit law enforcement agencies from using an  
          unmanned aircraft system, obtaining an unmanned aircraft system  
          from another public agency by contract, loan, or other  
          arrangement, or using information obtained from an unmanned  
          aircraft system used by another public agency, unless certain  
          requirements are met.  To use an unmanned aircraft system, among  
          other things, law enforcement agencies would be required to  
          develop and make available to the public a policy on the use of  
          the system, as well as comply with specified provisions in the  
          United States Constitution, the California Constitution,  
          federal, state and local law, and the unmanned aircraft system  
          policy developed by the law enforcement agency.  

          This bill would prohibit a law enforcement agency from using an  
          unmanned aircraft system to surveil private property unless,  
          among other things, the law enforcement agency obtains a search  
          warrant, and would require images, footage, or data obtained  
          through the use of an unmanned aircraft system under these  
          provisions to be permanently destroyed within one year, except  
          as specified.  Unless authorized by federal law, this bill would  
          also prohibit a person or entity, including a public agency, or  
          a person or entity under contract to a public agency, from  
          equipping or arming an unmanned aircraft system with a weapon.



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          The development of small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) - known  
          variously as "unmanned aerial vehicles," "remote piloted  
          aircraft," or simply "drones" - promises to transform the way  
          Californians interact with each other and their environment.   
          Just a few decades ago, small aircraft of this type were the  
          exclusive domain of hobbyists.  Within the last decade or so,  
          the public has become familiar with the military's use of  
          unmanned aircraft to accomplish certain mission objectives.   
          However, in December 2013 when, FedEx, and UPS  
          announced their plans to integrate unmanned aircraft into their  
          logistics and delivery services, the possibility of widespread  
          adoption of this technology became clear.

          Along with a variety of businesses, law enforcement agencies  
          across the country are also starting to look at how to leverage  
          unmanned aerial vehicle technology.  According to one report:

            As drones become cheaper and more capable, more police  
            departments across the country are asking for and getting  
            federal approval to use them for law enforcement.  But the  
            Federal Aviation Administration only takes safety into  
            consideration when it grants a law enforcement agency approval  
            to use drones, leaving privacy protections to  
            legislation-which, depending on the state in question, may or  
            may not exist.  Agencies as large as the Michigan State Police  
            and as small as the Grand Forks County [N.D.] Sheriff's  
            Department have received FAA approval to use drones.  Most  
            departments use them for missions like search-and-rescue or  
            for photographing a crime scene or an accident site.  But  
            unless a law enforcement agency is within one of the 14 states  
            that have passed privacy legislation limiting how police can  
            use drones, there's little in theory keeping it from using a  
            drone for a less innocuous end-such as surveillance without a  
            warrant.  (Kaveh Waddell, Few Privacy Limitations Exist on How  
            Police Use Drones, National Journal (Feb. 5, 2105)  
             [as of May 6, 2015].)

          At present, the use of unmanned aerial vehicles of any kind in  
          the skies over California is fairly restricted.  Congress  
          effectively closed the national airspace to commercial drone use  
          in the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Modernization and  


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          Reform Act of 2012.<1>  That Act established a framework for  
          safely integrating unmanned aircraft into the national airspace  
          no later than September 30, 2015.  The Act does, however, permit  
          certain commercial unmanned aircraft operations to take place  
          before the integration framework is implemented.  Section 333 of  
          the Act authorizes the Secretary of Transportation to establish  
          special interim requirements for the operation of these aircraft  
          by designated operators, provided the aircraft and their  
          operators meet certain minimum standards and have applied for a  
          commercial use exemption.  To date, a handful of commercial  
          operators have applied for, and received, permission to fly  
          commercial drones, including several film production companies,  
          construction, surveying, and inspection companies, and a number  
          of real estate firms.  The Act also sets out a separate interim  
          operation exemption for "public unmanned aircraft," allowing  
          public agencies like police departments to operate drones upon  
          application, provided the aircraft and their operators meet  
          certain minimum standards.<2>  According to recent media  
          reports, several California law enforcement agencies and other  
          public entities have acquired drones, but very few - if any -  
          have put them into service.

          This bill would prohibit a law enforcement agency from using an  
          unmanned aircraft system unless it first adopts a policy  
          governing its use and presents that policy to its governing body  
          and allows for public comment.  This bill would require a law  
          enforcement agency to obtain a warrant before using a UAS in  
          another city or county, or before surveiling private property,  
          except in specified circumstances.  This bill would also  
          prohibit the weaponization of drones, and would require images  
          and other data obtained by a UAS to be destroyed within one  
          year, except as specified.

                                CHANGES TO EXISTING LAW
          <1> H.R. 658, 112th Congress (2011-2012).  In general, the FAA  
          is tasked with regulating aircraft operations conducted in the  
          national airspace under 49 U.S.C. Sec. 40103.  This authority  
          extends to unmanned aircraft operations, which, by definition,  
          are considered to be "aircraft."  (See 49 U.S.C. Sec.  
          40102(a)(6), which defines an "aircraft" as "any contrivance  
          invented, used, or designed to navigate, or fly in, the air.")

          <2> See Section 334 of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of  


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           Existing law  , the California Constitution, provides that all  
          people are by nature free and independent and have inalienable  
          rights.  Among these are enjoying and defending life and  
          liberty, acquiring, possessing, and protecting property, and  
          pursuing and obtaining safety, happiness, and privacy.  (Cal.  
          Const, art. I, Sec. 1.)

           Existing federal and state law  provide that the right of the  
          people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and  
          effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not  
          be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable  
          cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly  
          describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things  
          to be seized.  (U.S. Const., 4th Amend.; Cal. Const, art. I,  
          Sec. 13.)

           Existing federal law  provides that the Federal Aviation  
          Administration shall regulate aircraft operations conducted in  
          the national airspace, including unmanned aircraft operations.   
          (49 U.S.C. Sec. 40103; 49 U.S.C. Sec. 40102(a)(6).)

           Existing law  makes it a crime for any person to intentionally  
          and without the consent of all parties to a confidential  
          communication, by means of any electronic amplifying or  
          recording device, eavesdrop upon or records the confidential  
          communication, whether the communication is carried on among the  
          parties in the presence of one another or by means of a  
          telegraph, telephone, or other device.  (Pen. Code Sec. 632.)

           Existing law  provides that any person who trespasses on property  
          for the purpose of committing any act, or attempting to commit  
          any act, in violation of the above provision shall be punished  
          by a fine not exceeding two thousand five hundred dollars  
          ($2,500), by imprisonment in the county jail not exceeding one  
          year or in the state prison, or by both that fine and  
          imprisonment.  (Pen. Code Sec. 634.)
           Existing law  provides that no person or entity in this state  
          shall use an electronic tracking device to determine the  
          location or movement of a person, but also provides that this  
          section shall not apply to the lawful use of an electronic  
          tracking device by a law enforcement agency.  (Pen. Code Sec.  

           This bill  would prohibit a law enforcement agency from using an  


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          unmanned aircraft system, obtaining an unmanned aircraft system  
          from another public agency by contract, loan, or other  
          arrangement, or using information obtained from an unmanned  
          aircraft system used by another public agency, except as  
          authorized in this bill.  This bill would apply to all law  
          enforcement agencies and private entities when contracting with  
          or acting as the agent of a law enforcement agency.

           This bill  would authorize a law enforcement agency to use an  
          unmanned aircraft system, or use information obtained from an  
          unmanned aircraft system used by another public agency, if the  
          law enforcement agency complies with all of the following:
           protections against unreasonable searches guaranteed by the  
            United States Constitution and the California Constitution;
           federal law applicable to the use of an unmanned aircraft  
            system by an agency, including, but not limited to,  
            regulations of the Federal Aviation Administration; and
           state and local law applicable to any agency's use of  
            surveillance technology that can be attached to an unmanned  
            aircraft system.

           This bill  states that if the use of an unmanned aircraft system  
          by a local law enforcement agency may involve the collection of  
          images, footage, or data from another county, city, or city and  
          county, the law enforcement agency shall obtain a warrant based  
          on probable cause, unless an exigent circumstance exists.

           This bill  would prohibit a law enforcement agency from using an  
          unmanned aircraft system, or information obtained from an  
          unmanned aircraft system used by another public agency, to  
          surveil private property unless the law enforcement agency has  
          obtained a search warrant based on probable cause, the express  
          permission of the person or entity with the legal authority to  
          authorize a search of the specific private property, or is using  
          the system under specified exigent circumstances.

           This bill  would require, before a law enforcement agency may use  
          an unmanned aircraft system, that the agency develop and make  
          available to the public a policy on the use of the unmanned  
          aircraft system and train the law enforcement agency's officers  
          and employees on the policy.  Law enforcement agency use of the  
          unmanned aircraft system must be consistent with this policy.

           This bill  would require a law enforcement agency's policy on the  
          use of an unmanned aircraft system to specify, at a minimum, the  


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           the circumstances under which an unmanned aircraft system may  
            and may not be used;
           the time limits applicable to each circumstance;
           the rules and processes required before such use;
           the individuals who may access or use an unmanned aircraft  
            system or its collected information and the circumstances  
            under which they may do so;
           the safeguards to protect unauthorized use or access;
           training required for any individual authorized to use or  
            access the sharing or information;
           the sharing of images, data, or footage with other law  
            enforcement agencies and public agencies;
           the manner in which information obtained from another public  
            agency will be used; and
           mechanisms to ensure the policy is followed.

           This bill  would require, before the policy is finalized, that a  
          law enforcement agency present the proposed policy at a  
          regularly scheduled and noticed public meeting of its governing  
          body with an opportunity for public comment.

           This bill  would require images, footage, or data obtained  
          through the use of an unmanned aircraft system to be permanently  
          destroyed within one year, unless the images, footage, or data  
          were obtained pursuant to a search warrant or are used for the  
          following purposes:
           for training purposes;
           for academic research or teaching purposes; and
           for use as evidence in any claim filed or any pending  
            litigation, internal disciplinary proceeding, enforcement  
            proceeding, or criminal investigation.

           This bill  would specify that images, footage, or data obtained  
          through the use of an unmanned aircraft system or any related  
          record, including usage logs or logs that identify any person or  
          entity that subsequently obtains or requests records of that  
          system, are public records subject to disclosure, except as  

           This bill  would require all unmanned aircraft systems to be  
          operated so as to minimize the collection of images, footage, or  
          data of persons, places, or things not specified with  
          particularity in the warrant authorizing the use of an unmanned  
          aircraft system, or, if no warrant was obtained, for purposes  


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          unrelated to the justification for the operation.

           This bill  would state that unless authorized by federal law, a  
          person or entity shall not equip or arm an unmanned aircraft  
          system with a weapon or other device that may be carried by, or  
          launched or directed from, an unmanned aircraft system and that  
          is intended to cause incapacitation, bodily injury or death, or  
          damage to, or the destruction of, real or personal property.
           This bill  would specify that a local legislative body may adopt  
          more restrictive policies than those specified in state law on  
          the acquisition, use, or retention of unmanned aircraft systems.

           This bill  would define the following terms:
           "law enforcement agency" means the Attorney General, each  
            district attorney, and each agency of the state or political  
            subdivision of the state authorized by statute to investigate  
            or prosecute law violators; and
           "unmanned aircraft system" means an unmanned aircraft and  
            associated elements, including communication links and the  
            components that control the unmanned aircraft, that are  
            required for the pilot in command to operate safely and  
            efficiently in the national airspace system. 
           1.Stated need for the bill  

          The author writes:

            Drones are inherently different from manned aircrafts, both in  
            size and flying capability.  Some unmanned aircraft weigh  
            1,900 pounds and can remain aloft for 30 hours or more because  
            there is no need for them to land to change pilots.  Some are  
            6 inches long.  Others can perform dangerous missions without  
            risking loss of life.

            Commercially used drones can serve many societal benefits  
            including assessing hostage situations, addressing bomb  
            threats and detecting forest fires.  Despite the possible  
            benefits, there is potential for misuse without clearly  
            established policies that protect privacy rights. 

            There is no California law or regulation governing the use of  
            drones and no guidelines on how public agencies can acquire  
            them.  Several jurisdictions have already purchased drones  


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            with very little, if any, public announcement or discussion. 

            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 a  
            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  
            track 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  
            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 that law enforcement  
            agencies must follow if they choose to operate a drone.  Law  
            enforcement agencies will be required to develop policies  
            regarding privacy protections, data sharing, and unauthorized  
            use of a drone that must be followed when operating a drone in  
            a public and private space.  Law enforcement agencies must  
            also present these policies at a regularly scheduled meeting  
            of their governing board and allow for public comment before  
            they are officially adopted.  In addition, this bill places  
            additional restrictions when using a drone over private spaces  
            to protect the privacy of individuals.  Finally, this bill  
            allows local governments to enact stricter guidelines on the  
            acquisition, retention and use of drones. 

            AB 56 recognizes that drones can be a beneficial tool, but at  
            the same time they can be abused without guidance on their  
            use.  Drones are a new and continuously evolving technology;  
            this bill seeks to establish a baseline on their use to allow  
            the Legislature to build upon as needed.


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           2.Fundamental Right to Privacy  

          The California Constitution provides that all people have  
          inalienable rights, including the right to pursue and obtain  
          privacy.  (Cal. Const., art. I, Sec. 1.)  This "right of privacy  
          is vitally important.  It derives, in this state, not only from  
          the protections against unreasonable searches and seizures  
          guaranteed by the Fourth Amendment and article I, section 13,  
          but also from article I, section 1, of our State Constitution.   
          Homage to personhood is the foundation for individual rights  
          protected by our state and national Constitutions."  (In re  
          William G. (1985) 40 Cal.3d 550, 563.)  Because of their  
          inherent maneuverability and the ease with which they may enter  
          spaces infeasible for manned aircraft, the growth of unmanned  
          aerial vehicle technology presents a challenge to maintaining  
          traditional boundaries that separate public and private spheres,  
          and to preserving the fundamental right to privacy in  

          California's constitutional right to privacy restricts the  
          government and others from infringing upon legally protected  
          privacy interests of California residents.  The California  
          Supreme Court has found that "[l]egally recognized privacy  
          interests are generally of two classes: (1) interests in  
          precluding the dissemination or misuse of sensitive and  
          confidential information (informational privacy); and (2)  
          interests in making intimate personal decisions or conducting  
          personal activities without observation, intrusion, or  
          interference (autonomy privacy).  (Hill v. National Collegiate  
          Athletic Assn. (1994) 7 Cal.4th 1, 35 [internal quotation marks  
          omitted].)  The latter of these - informational privacy - is  
          "the core value" furthered by the constitutional right of  
          privacy.  (Id.)  "A particular class of information is private  
          when well-established social norms recognize the need to  
          maximize individual control over its dissemination and use to  
          prevent unjustified embarrassment or indignity.  Such norms  
          create a threshold reasonable expectation of privacy in the data  
          at issue."  (Id.)  The Court has held that "the usual sources of  
          positive law governing the right to privacy -- common law  
          development, constitutional development, [and] statutory  
          enactment"-- illuminate "[w]hether established social norms  
          safeguard a particular type of information . . . from public or  
          private intervention."  (Id. at 36.)


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          Recent Fourth Amendment jurisprudence strongly suggests that  
          information subject to collection by unmanned aircraft operated  
          by law enforcement agencies, such as locational information and  
          surveillance data, falls within the class of information  
          safeguarded by established social norms.  In United States v.  
          Jones (2012) 132 S. Ct. 945, for example, the U.S. Supreme Court  
          examined the significant privacy concerns raised by locational  
          tracking technology.  The Jones case considered whether the  
          attachment of a Global Positioning System (GPS) tracking device  
          to an individual's vehicle, and the subsequent use of that  
          device to track the vehicle's movements on public streets,  
          constituted a search within the meaning of the Fourth Amendment.  
           In her concurring opinion, Justice Sotomayor made the following  

            Awareness that the Government may be watching chills  
            associational and expressive freedoms.  And the Government's  
            unrestrained power to assemble data that reveal private  
            aspects of identity is susceptible to abuse.  The net result  
            is that GPS monitoring--by making available at a relatively  
            low cost such a substantial quantum of intimate information  
            about any person whom the Government, in its unfettered  
            discretion, chooses to track--may alter the relationship  
            between citizen and government in a way that is inimical to  
            democratic society.

            I would take these attributes of GPS monitoring into account  
            when considering the existence of a reasonable societal  
            expectation of privacy in the sum of one's public movements.   
                                                                            I would ask whether people reasonably expect that their  
            movements will be recorded and aggregated in a manner that  
            enables the Government to ascertain, more or less at will,  
            their political and religious beliefs, sexual habits, and so  
            on.  (United States v. Jones (2012) 132 S. Ct. 945, 955-956  
            [internal citations and quotation marks omitted].)

          Use of unmanned aircraft to track the location of individuals  
          and gather surveillance data is arguably more invasive than GPS  
          tracking of a vehicle's movements on public streets.  Unlike GPS  
          tracking, unmanned aircraft can collect data on a wide range of  
          individuals at the same time, and in areas far removed from  
          public streets.

          This bill proposes a number of safeguards that would help ensure  
          law enforcement agencies operate unmanned aircraft systems in a  


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          manner that respects Californian's fundamental right to privacy.  
           First, this bill would prohibit the use of these vehicles until  
          after a law enforcement agency both develops a usage policy  
          disclosing how drone systems will be deployed and how  
          information gathered through these systems will be used or  
          shared, and presents this usage policy to the agency's governing  
          board for public discussion.  Second, the bill includes warrant  
          requirements for use of unmanned aircraft in cities or counties  
          outside a local law enforcement agency's home jurisdiction, and  
          over private property when surveiling that property, subject to  
          specified exceptions.  Third, the bill contains provisions that  
          require law enforcement officers to minimize the collection of  
          images and data via an unmanned aircraft system to only that  
          specified in an authorizing warrant or, in the case no warrant  
          was issued, to only that which is necessary to carry out the  
          operation prompting use of the aircraft.  The bill also would  
          require law enforcement agencies to delete data collected by a  
          drone within a year of its collection, unless needed for such  
          things as prosecution of a criminal investigation or unless it  
          was collected pursuant to a warrant.

          While these provisions would help to ensure that law enforcement  
          drones are operated in a manner respectful of the fundamental  
          right to privacy, the author may wish to consider amending the  
          bill to explicitly require UAS usage policies to describe how  
          authorized uses are consistent with respect for individual  
          privacy and civil liberties, and to explicitly prohibit the use  
          of these aircraft for the sole purpose of monitoring individuals  
          exercising constitutionally guaranteed rights, such as the right  
          to speak or peaceably assemble under the First Amendment.   
          Additionally, the author may wish to consider amending the bill  
          to ensure that its requirements are enforceable by a broad range  
          of stakeholders, and that aggrieved parties are given adequate  
          remedies to redress harms in the event of non-compliance.

             Potential Amendments:
                  require law enforcement unmanned aircraft system use to  
               comply with all applicable law, including the fundamental  
               right to privacy; 
                 require law enforcement use policies to describe:
               o      how unmanned aircraft system use will respect  
                 privacy and civil liberties;
               o      the authorized purposes for using unmanned aircraft  
                 systems and for collecting information or data using that  


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               o      the employees who are authorized to use or access  
                 information or data collected by an unmanned aircraft  
               o      how the use of an unmanned aircraft system will be  
                 monitored to ensure compliance with all applicable  
                 privacy laws;
               o      measures that will be used to ensure the accuracy of  
                 information or data collected; and
               o      the purpose of, and process for, sharing or  
                 disseminating information or data gathered through the  
                 use of an unmanned aircraft system.
                 prohibit the use of unmanned aircraft systems solely for  
               the purpose of monitoring activities protected by the First  
               Amendment or the lawful exercise of other rights secured by  
               the United States Constitution, the California  
               Constitution, and federal and state law;
                 require law enforcement use policies to be periodically  
               reviewed; and
                 provide adequate remedies for individuals harmed by the  
               improper use of unmanned aircraft systems.

          The addition of "privacy" to the list of unalienable rights in  
          the California Constitution "was intended to strengthen the  
          right of privacy, "and "[t]he elevation of the right to be free  
          from invasions of privacy to constitutional stature was  
          apparently intended to be an expansion of the [existing] privacy  
          right."  (Cent. Valley Ch. 7th Step Found. v. Younger (1989) 214  
          Cal.App.3d 145, 160.)  "[The] principal 'mischiefs' at which the  
          amendment is directed are: (1) 'government snooping' and the  
          secret gathering of personal information; (2) the overbroad  
          collection and retention of unnecessary personal information by  
          government and business interests; (3) the improper use of  
          information properly obtained for a specific purpose, for  
          example, the use of it for another purpose or the disclosure of  
          it to some third party; and (4) the lack of a reasonable check  
          on the accuracy of existing records."  (Id.)  The policy  
          question for this Committee to consider is, without more, does  
          this bill provide enough guidance to law enforcement agencies to  
          avoid the "mischiefs" the privacy amendment sought to curtail?

           1.Data Use and Security
          As discussed in Comment 2, the type of information collected  
          through the use of an unmanned aircraft system (UAS) could be  
          highly sensitive.  For example, locational data gathered by a  


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          UAS, especially over time, can be used to determine a person's  
          political and religious beliefs, known associates, frequented  
          places, and even their medical conditions.  Other recent bills  
          regulating law enforcement's use of surveillance technologies  
          considered by this Committee have included provisions addressing  
          security and operational protocols to ensure that collected data  
          remains confidential and is protected from unauthorized access  
          or use.  (See e.g. Sen. Com. on Judiciary, Analysis of Sen. Bill  
          No. 34 (2015-2016 Reg. Sess.) as introduced, [for hearing on  
          Apr. 14, 2015].)  This bill would require a law enforcement  
          agency's usage policy to describe, among other things,  
          "safeguards to protect unauthorized use or access."  However,  
          the bill does not impose any direct requirements to ensure that  
          collected data is protected from misuse or data breach, or that  
          the permissible use of collected data is restricted by  
          appropriate safeguards to ensure respect for individual privacy  
          and civil liberties.

          Insufficient data security and use protocols for UAS collected  
          information may risk infringing upon an individual's  
          constitutional right to privacy in much the same way as improper  
          "front-end" collection practices.  Under this bill, law  
          enforcement agencies will be confronted with determining such  
          things as what purposes images, footage, or data obtained  
          through the use of a UAS should be used for, whether this  
          information should be used for purposes other than that for  
          which they were originally collected, and whether it should be  
          shared with other public and private entities.  Similarly, law  
          enforcement agencies will have to determine how such information  
          should be protected from misuse or improper access and who  
          should have access to it.  The policy question for this  
          Committee to consider is whether the Legislature ought to  
          provide more direct guidance to law enforcement agencies faced  
          with these critical issues of data security and privacy  
          protection.  To this end, the Committee may wish to amend this  
          bill to provide explicit data use and security standards that  
          directly protect individual privacy and civil liberties.

              Potential Amendments:
            ensure that information and data gathered through the use of  
            an unmanned aircraft system is protected with reasonable  
            operational, administrative, technical, and physical  
            safeguards to ensure its confidentiality and integrity; and
           implement and maintain reasonable security procedures and  
            practices in order to protect information and data gathered  


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            through the use of that system from unauthorized access,  
            destruction, use, modification, or disclosure.

           1.Opposition Concerns
          The American Civil Liberties Union of California, in opposition,  

            As amended, AB 56 would grant unprecedented and  
            unconstitutional surveillance powers to the state.  For  
            example, by allowing unlimited use of a drone over all public  
            lands, highways, and spaces open to the public, law  
            enforcement would be authorized to track anyone, including by  
            following them around any time they are in public, which would  
            appear to include all commercial areas open to the general  
            public, without any judicial oversight or cause to suspect  
            wrongdoing.  Additionally, AB 56 would authorize warrantless  
            surveillance of activities protected by the First Amendment,  
            such as protest rallies, which has led to documented abuses by  
            law enforcement.  Law enforcement should not be authorized to  
            perform such wide-ranging surveillance without a warrant  
            supported by probable cause.

          In contrast, the California State Sheriffs' Association and the  
          California Police Chiefs Association (Chiefs), also in  
          opposition, suggest that the warrant requirements in this bill  
          are too burdensome, raising specific concerns about restricting  
          the use of unmanned aerial vehicles in adjacent cities or  
          counties without a warrant.  According to the Chiefs, "if an  
          agency is operating an unmanned aircraft system in a hot pursuit  
          situation, the agency would have to terminate the system's use  
          if the suspect crossed a jurisdictional boundary."  They  
          suggest, instead, that the same exceptions to the warrant  
          requirement provided for the use of UAS systems over private  
          property should be applied to multijurisdictional operations.

           Support  :  Central Coast Forest Association

           Opposition  :  American Civil Liberties Union of California;  
          California Police Chiefs Association; California State Sheriffs'  



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           Source  :  Author

           Related Pending Legislation  :

          SB 170 (Gaines, 2015) would provide that a person who knowingly  
          and intentionally operates an unmanned aircraft on or above the  
          grounds of a state prison or a jail is guilty of a misdemeanor,  
          except as specified.  This bill is pending in the Assembly  
          Public Safety Committee.

          SB 142 (Jackson, 2015) would clarify that the operation of an  
          unmanned aerial vehicle less than 350 feet above the property of  
          another, without permission or legal authority, constitutes  
          trespass.  This bill is pending in the Assembly Judiciary  

          SB 262 (Galgiani, 2015) would authorize law enforcement agencies  
          to use unmanned aircraft systems provided such use complies with  
          certain conditions, including: search and seizure protections in  
          the U.S. and California Constitutions; federal law applicable to  
          unmanned aircraft systems; and state law applicable to law  
          enforcement agency use of surveillance technology.  This bill  
          would also require law enforcement agencies to receive approval  
          from their local governing body prior to using unmanned aircraft  
          systems, and would restrict the use of such systems for  
          conducting surveillance of private property.  This bill is  
          pending in the Senate Judiciary Committee.

          SB 271 (Gaines, 2015) would make it an infraction to operate an  
          unmanned aircraft on the grounds of, or less than 350 feet above  
          ground level within the airspace overlaying, a public school  
          providing instruction in kindergarten or grades 1 to 12 during  
          school hours and without permission of school officials.  This  
          bill would exempt specified media and news personnel unless they  
          receive a request from school officials to cease using an  
          unmanned aircraft above a school, and would also exempt law  
          enforcement.  This bill is pending in the Assembly Education  

          AB 14 (Waldron, 2015) would create the Unmanned Aircraft Systems  
          Task Force, which would be required to research, develop, and  
          formulate a comprehensive policy for unmanned aircraft systems  
          in California.  The task force would be required to submit,  
          among other things, a policy draft and suggested legislation  
          pertaining to unmanned aircraft systems to the Legislature and  


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          the Governor on or before January 1, 2018.  This bill is pending  
          reconsideration in the Assembly Transportation Committee.

           Prior Legislation  :

          AB 1327 (Gorell, 2014) would have prohibited public agencies  
          from using unmanned aircraft systems, or contracting for the use  
          of these systems, with certain exceptions for law enforcement  
          agencies acting pursuant to a warrant and in certain other  
          cases, including when the use or operation of the unmanned  
          aircraft system achieves the core mission of the agency and the  
          purpose of use is unrelated to the gathering of criminal  
          intelligence.  The bill would have also required notice by  
          public agencies intending to deploy unmanned aircraft, would  
          have required images, footage, or data obtained through the use  
          of such aircraft to be permanently destroyed within one year  
          except as specified, and would have prohibited equipping  
          unmanned aircraft with weapons.  This bill was vetoed by  
          Governor Brown.

          SB 15 (Padilla, 2013) would have, among other things, required  
          law enforcement agencies to obtain search warrants when using  
          unmanned aircraft, and would have required that an application  
          for the search warrant specify the intended purpose for which  
          the unmanned aircraft would be used.  The bill would have also  
          restricted data collection by unmanned aircraft and would have  
          prohibited equipping unmanned aircraft with weapons.  This bill  
          died in the Assembly Public Safety Committee.

          AB 1524 (Waldron, 2013) would have required any entity that owns  
          or operates an unmanned aircraft to place identifying  
          information or digitally store identifying information on the  
          aircraft.  The bill would have exempted model aircraft, and  
          would have made a person or entity that violates its provisions  
          liable for a civil fine not to exceed $2,500.  This bill was set  
          for hearing in the Assembly Transportation Committee, but the  
          hearing was cancelled at the author's request.

           Prior Vote  :

          Senate Public Safety Committee (Ayes 4, Noes 2)
          Assembly Floor (Ayes 61, Noes 12)
          Assembly Appropriations Committee (Ayes 17, Noes 0)
          Assembly Privacy and Consumer Protection Committee (Ayes 9, Noes  


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          Assembly Public Safety Committee (Ayes 6, Noes 0)