Illinois lawmaker: Evidence from drones should be destroyed

Albert L. Wysocki, A Professional Corporation

Technology has certainly simplified our lives in many ways here in Waukegan. We can communicate with others via email, Skype, text, etc. Countless sources of information are available to us with the click of a mouse. And with mobile devices, we can get the information we are looking for at anytime and when we are practically anywhere.

But as technology continues to change and shape how we live our lives, lawmakers also need to consider how technology may infringe on our privacy rights, especially when it comes to criminal investigations. There have already been debates about when GPS or phone tracking can or cannot be used during criminal investigations. And now, one Illinois lawmaker wants to make sure the state addresses another privacy issue before it begins to affect residents: unmanned drones.

Last year, President Barack Obama had requested that the Federal Aviation Administration begin using unmanned aircraft in our nation’s system. And some local police departments are even considering using unmanned drones for criminal investigations. This has lawmakers and others across the country worried that our privacy rights may be violated if lawmakers don’t do something now to make sure the use of drones is properly regulated before unmanned drones begin flying over our country.

Democratic Sen. Daniel Biss recently introduced a bill that would regulate the use of unmanned aircraft by police in Illinois. If drones do begin to fly over U.S. soil, the bill would protect citizens from being spied on unless police get a search warrant to use drones to gather evidence during criminal investigations. When search warrants are not obtained, any evidence that is gathered from a drone will need to be destroyed, the bill proposes.

Illinois is not the only state that is concerned about whether unmanned aircraft will infringe on the privacy rights of Americans. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, at least 20 other states are proposing similar bills to regulate the use of drones.

Source: Chicago Tribune, “State lawmaker wants to regulate use of drones by police,” Rafael Guerrero, Feb. 25, 2013

  • Our Lake County firm handles a variety of criminal cases including cases involving federal charges, felony charges, drug charges and sex offense charges. To learn more about protecting one’s rights and future after being accused of committing a serious crime, please visit our Waukegan criminal defense attorney page.

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Illinois lawmaker: Evidence from drones should be destroyed