BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    

                                                                    AB 1820

                                                                    Page  1

          Date of Hearing:  May 4, 2016


                               Lorena Gonzalez, Chair

          1820 (Quirk) - As Amended April 11, 2016

          |Policy       |Public Safety                  |Vote:|7 - 0        |
          |Committee:   |                               |     |             |
          |             |                               |     |             |
          |             |                               |     |             |
          |             |Privacy and Consumer           |     |4 - 6        |
          |             |Protection                     |     |             |
          |             |                               |     |             |
          |             |                               |     |             |
          |             |Privacy and Consumer           |     |6 - 5        |
          |             |Protection                     |     |             |
          |             |                               |     |             |
          |             |                               |     |             |

          Urgency:  No  State Mandated Local Program:  YesReimbursable:   


          This bill regulates the use of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS)  


                                                                    AB 1820

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          by state and local law enforcement agencies by requiring that a  
          law enforcement agency, if it wishes to deploy UAS, to develop a  
          policy on the use of UAS, disclose the proposed policy to the  
          public, and train the agency's officers and staff on the policy  
          before UAS is deployed.  

          FISCAL EFFECT:

          1)Significant one-time and ongoing non-reimbursable local law  
            enforcement agency costs (Local Funds) to adhere to the  
            standards and protections provided for under this measure  
            including but not limited to the development of policies,  
            procedures, training, data security, collection, and  
            retention, and public access.

          2)One-time and ongoing potentially significant future cost  
            pressure (General Fund/Special Fund) to the extent UAS are  
            utilized in the future by state agencies including but not  
            limited to the Department of Justice (DOJ), the California  
            Highway Patrol (CHP), and the Department of Fish and Wildlife  
            (DFW), and the Office of Emergency Services (OES).


          1)Background.  Several local governments in California are  
            considering allowing law enforcement to use UAS in their  
            jurisdictions.  For example, on April 8, 2015, the San Jose  
            Neighborhoods Commission endorsed a 12-month pilot project  
            allowing the San Jose police department to test UAS.  The San  
            Jose City Council is expected to approve the pilot project,  
            which would begin in 2017.


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            In 2014, the Los Angeles (L.A.) Police Department acquired two  
            UAS from the Seattle Police Department.  Following public  
            criticism, the L.A. City Council called on the L.A. Police  
            Commission to develop a policy on the use of UAS before LAPD  
            deploys them.  The city's policy is still in development.

          2)Purpose.  According to the author, "Technology has played a  
            critical role in helping law enforcement groups strategize new  
            ways to fight crime.  An unmanned aircraft system (UAS), or  
            drone, can be a great asset to the state and can play an  
            important role in improving 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." 

            This bill is intended to protect personal privacy and promote  
            transparency in law enforcement by establishing a set of  
            public parameters for law enforcement use of UAS, commonly  
            known as "drones," over public and private spaces in  

          3)Support.  The California Civil Liberties Advocacy (CCLA)  
            writes in support, "CCLA strongly feels that AB 1820 properly  
            balances the privacy interests of individual citizens with law  
            enforcement's need to detect, prevent, and prosecute crime by  
            requiring sound usage and data retention policies, and by  
            requiring law enforcement to obtain a search warrant in  
            connection with footage obtained for a criminal  


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          4)Opposition.  The American Civil Liberties Union of California  
            (ACLU) contends that police should not use UAS without a  
            warrant, stating that, "Drones represent a revolutionary new  
            technology that has the potential to be a useful law  
            enforcement tool but which also creates serious new threats to  
            privacy that must be subject to the controls of a search  

          5)Related Legislation.  

             a)   AB 56 (Quirk) regulates the use of UAS by public  
               agencies, including law enforcement.  AB 56 passed the  
               Assembly on a 61-12 vote and is pending on the Senate  
               Inactive File.

             b)   SB 262 (Galgiani) would have authorized a law  
               enforcement agency to use a UAS if it complied with the  
               U.S. Constitution and the California Constitution, federal  
               law applicable to the use of UAS by a law enforcement  
               agency, state law applicable to a law enforcement agency's  
               use of surveillance technology that can be attached to a  
               UAS, and provided the local governing board approved the  
               use.  SB 262 was held in the Senate Judiciary Committee.   

             c)   SB 868 (Jackson) proposes the State Remote Piloted  
               Aircraft Act containing numerous UAS regulations.  SB 868  
               is pending before the Senate Public Safety Committee.


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          1)Prior Legislation. SB 15 (Padilla) of 2013 would have imposed  
            a search warrant requirement on law enforcement agency use of  
            a UAS in certain circumstances, would have applied existing  
            civil and criminal law to prohibited activities with devices  
            or instrumentalities affixed to, or contained within a UAS,  
            and would have prohibited equipping a UAS with a weapon, and  
            would have prohibited using a UAS to invade a person's  
            privacy.  SB 15 failed passage in the Assembly Public Safety  

            Analysis Prepared by:Pedro Reyes / APPR. / (916)