California Legislators to Eye Police Push for Use of Drones

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) -  California law enforcement agencies are looking to fly drones as an affordable and efficient way to monitor crime scenes, pursue suspects and search for lost hikers.

But the capability of the unmanned aircraft to intrude on private spaces and videotape people from afar has raised major red flags among privacy advocates.

California lawmakers will try to strike a balance between protecting civil liberties and aiding crime-fighting when the Legislature reconvenes Monday and faces a Sept. 11 deadline to pass several bills related to drones.

The consideration comes as the use of drones by law enforcement is in its early stages in the country.

Federal rules focus on air traffic safety, not privacy, prompting some advocates to call on states and courts to fill the gaps before drones become widely used, smaller and more advanced.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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