BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    

                                                                    AB 1820

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          1820 (Quirk)

          As Amended  May 19, 2016

          Majority vote

          |Committee       |Votes|Ayes                  |Noes                 |
          |                |     |                      |                     |
          |                |     |                      |                     |
          |                |     |                      |                     |
          |Public Safety   |7-0  |Jones-Sawyer,         |                     |
          |                |     |Melendez, Lackey,     |                     |
          |                |     |Lopez, Low, Quirk,    |                     |
          |                |     |Santiago              |                     |
          |                |     |                      |                     |
          |Privacy         |6-5  |Chau, Calderon,       |Wilk, Baker, Chang,  |
          |                |     |Dababneh, Gatto,      |Cooper, Olsen        |
          |                |     |Gordon, Low           |                     |
          |                |     |                      |                     |
          |Appropriations  |14-6 |Gonzalez, Bloom,      |Bigelow, Chang,      |
          |                |     |Bonilla, Bonta,       |Gallagher, Jones,    |
          |                |     |Calderon, Daly,       |Obernolte, Wagner    |
          |                |     |Eggman, Eduardo       |                     |
          |                |     |Garcia, McCarty,      |                     |
          |                |     |Holden, Quirk,        |                     |
          |                |     |Santiago, Weber, Wood |                     |
          |                |     |                      |                     |
          |                |     |                      |                     |


                                                                    AB 1820

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          SUMMARY:  Regulates the use of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS)  
          by law enforcement agencies.  Specifically, this bill:  
          1)Defines "UAS" as 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.
          2)Prohibits a law enforcement agency from using a UAS, obtaining  
            a UAS from another public agency by contract, loan or other  
            arrangement, or using information obtained from a UAS used by  
            another public agency, except as provided in the provisions of  
            this bill.

          3)Specifies that the provisions of this bill apply to all law  
            enforcement agencies and private entities when contracting  
            with or acting as the agent of a law enforcement agency for  
            the use of a UAS.

          4)Allows a law enforcement agency to use UAS system, obtain a  
            UAS system from another agency, by contract, loan, or other  
            arrangement, or permit another law enforcement agency to use a  
            UAS within the agency's jurisdiction, if the law enforcement  
            agency complies with the regulations of this bill and all  
            other applicable federal, state, and local laws.

          5)Requires a search warrant if the use of a UAS by a local law  
            enforcement agency involves the collection of images or data  
            from another city or county, unless an exigent circumstance  
            exists or the law enforcement agency has entered into a  
            written, public agreement with the law enforcement agency in  
            the other county, city, or city and county.


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          6)Specifies that if a law enforcement agency elects to permit  
            another law enforcement agency to use a UAS with the agency's  
            jurisdiction with an agreement between the agencies, it shall  
            post a copy of the agreement on its Web site.

          7)Requires that any agreement between law enforcement agencies  
            allowing use of a UAS in its jurisdiction specify that the law  
            enforcement agency that owns the UAS will comply with the UAS  
            policies they developed.

          8)Requires a law enforcement agency to develop and make  
            available to the public the policy on its use of the UAS, and  
            requires training of the law enforcement agency's officers and  
            employees on the policy, if they elect to use a UAS.

          9)Requires the UAS policy developed by a law enforcement agency  
            be posted on the law enforcement agency's public internet  

          10)States that the law enforcement agency to must maintain and  
            internet web site age for public input to address civilians'  
            concerns and recommendations. 

          11)Requires a law enforcement agency to use the unmanned  
            aircraft system consistent with the policy developed regarding  

          12)Specifies that a law enforcement agency's UAS policy must  
            include the following:

             a)   The circumstances under which an unmanned aircraft  
               system may or may not be used;


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             b)   The rules and processes required before using an  
               unmanned aircraft system;

             c)   The individuals who may access or use an unmanned  
               aircraft system or the information collected by an unmanned  
               aircraft system and the circumstances under which those  
               individuals may do so;

             d)   The safeguards to protect against unauthorized use or  

             e)   The training required for any individual authorized to  
               use or access information collected by an unmanned aircraft  

             f)   The guidelines for sharing images, footage, or data with  
               other law enforcement agencies and public agencies;

             g)   The manner in which information obtained from another  
               public agency's use of an unmanned aircraft system will be  
               used; and

             h)   Mechanisms to ensure that the policy is adhered to.

          13)Prohibits a law enforcement agency from using a UAS, obtain a  
            UAS from another public agency, or use information obtained  
            from a UAS used by another public agency, to surveil private  
            property unless the law enforcement has obtained a search  
            warrant or express permission of the person or entity with  
            legal authority to authorize a search of the property.
          14)Allows a law enforcement agency, without first obtaining a  
            warrant or consent from the property owner over private  


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            property, to use a UAS if an exigent circumstance exists.

          15)Specifies that exigent circumstances include, but are not  
            limited to, the following:

             a)   In emergency situations if there is an imminent threat  
               to life or of great bodily harm, including, but not limited  
               to fires, hostage crises, "hot pursuit" situations if  
               reasonably necessary to prevent harm to law enforcement  
               officers or others; and search and rescue operations on  
               land or water.
             b)   To determine the appropriate response to an imminent or  
               existing environmental emergency or disaster, including,  
               but not limited to, oils spills or chemical spills.

          16)Requires images, footage, or data obtained through the use of  
            an UAS shall be permanently destroyed with one year, except in  
            the following circumstances the agency may retain the data:
             a)   For training purposes of the law enforcement agency's  
               employees in matters related to the mission of the law  
               enforcement agency;
             b)   For academic research or teaching purposes;

             c)   If a search warrant authorized collection of the images,  
               footage, or data; and

             d)   If the images, footage, or data are evidence in any  
               claim filed or any pending litigation, internal  
               disciplinary proceeding, enforcement proceeding, or  
               criminal investigation.

          17)Prohibits a person, entity, or public agency from equipping  
            or arming a UAS with a weapon or other device that may be  


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            carried by or launched from a UAS and that may cause bodily  
            injury or death or damage to, or the destruction of, real or  
            personal property, unless authorized by federal law.
          18)Specifies that law enforcement agencies using a UAS, or  
            obtains a UAS from another public agency shall make a good  
            faith effort to operate them 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 unrelated to the justification for the  

          19)States that none of the provisions in this bill are intended  
            to conflict with or supersede federal law, including rules and  
            regulations of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

          20)Authorizes a local legislative body to adopt more restrictive  
            policies on the acquisition or use of unmanned aircraft  
            systems by a law enforcement agency.

          21)States that except for provisions of this bill, that  
            surveillance restrictions on electronic devices shall also  
            apply to UAS.

          22)Defines "surveil" as "the purposeful observation of a person  
            or private property with the intent of gathering criminal  

          23)Defines "criminal intelligence" as "information compiled,  
            analyzed, or disseminated in an effort to anticipate, prevent,  
            monitor, or investigate criminal activity."

          24)Defines "law enforcement agency" as "the Attorney General,  


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            each district attorney, and each agency of the state or  
            subdivision of the state authorized by statute to investigate  
            or prosecute law violators and that employs peace officers."

          EXISTING LAW:  

          1)The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses,  
            papers, and effects against unreasonable seizures and searches  
            may not be violated; and a warrant may not issue except on  
            probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, particularly  
            describing the place to be searched and the persons and things  
            to be seized. 
          2)States that 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.  

          3)Prohibits wiretapping or eavesdropping on confidential  
            communications, which excludes communications made in public  
            or in any circumstance that the parties may reasonably expect  
            that the communication may be overheard or recorded.  

          4)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.  

          5)California Public Records Act generally provides that access  
            to information concerning the conduct of the people's business  
            is a fundamental and necessary right of every person in this  


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          6)Provides that public records are open to inspection at all  
            times during the office hours of the state or local agency and  
            every person has a right to inspect any public record, except  
            as provided.  Any reasonably segregable portion of a record  
            shall be available for inspection by any person requesting the  
            record after deletion of the portions that are exempted by  

          FISCAL EFFECT:  According to the Assembly Appropriations  

          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).

          COMMENTS:  According to the Author, "Technology has played a  
          critical role in helping law enforcement groups strategize new  
          ways to fight crime.  A 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  


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          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. 

          "Drones may also be able to observe areas that are difficult or  
          dangerous for officers to enter, they can help assess dangerous  
          situations (such as a hostage situation or bomb threat) and  
          assist in strategizing responses to these incidents. 

          "Though drone technology is growing quickly, high-tech  
          capabilities (such as detailed imagine from high altitudes,  
          ability to travel large distances) are still under development  
          or cost prohibitive for law enforcement agencies.  However,  
          without parameters to guide the use of these devices, the  
          possibility for abuse exists.  

          "AB 1820 will establish a set of parameters for the use of  
          drones by law enforcement agencies.  Specifically, the bill  
          requires law enforcement agencies to develop a set of policies  
          to govern the use of drones that will be presented as a  
          regularly scheduled meeting of the governing body to allow for  
          public comment. 

          "Additionally, AB 1820 indicates instances in which a warrant is  
          needed for the use of a drone and how long the images captured  
          by a drone must be retained before they can be destroyed."

          Analysis Prepared by:                                             
                          David Billingsley / PUB. S. / (916) 319-3744   
          FN: 0003000


                                                                    AB 1820

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