Texas drone bill sparks a battle

Media groups, and even some privacy advocates slam Texas effort to limit drone use as a threat to free speech

By , Computerworld |  IT Management

Melanie Hinton, a spokeswoman for the AUVSI said the Texas legislation aims to rewrite search warrant requirements and create a separate distinction for unmanned systems.

"Would search and rescue teams not be able to use [Unmanned Aerial Systems] to take photos of an area where a missing child is thought to be? Would researchers be prohibited from using UAS to photograph hurricanes or tornadoes in efforts to better understand them and predict their paths? Would farmers be prohibited from using UAS to take images of their crops to efficiently check for signs of drought or blight?" she asked.

The protests in Texas highlight the challenges involved in keeping both sides happy, said Jennifer Lynch, an attorney at Electronic Frontier Foundation.

"This piece of legislation goes way too far," in limiting drone use, she said. "It contains the most broad language of any of the pieces of legislation I have seen so far." she noted.

As the FAA starts issuing more licenses expect to see more such challenges to state drone privacy laws, Lynch added.

Jaikumar Vijayan covers data security and privacy issues, financial services security and e-voting for Computerworld. Follow Jaikumar on Twitter at @jaivijayan, or subscribe to Jaikumar's RSS feed . His email address is jvijayan@computerworld.com.

Read more about gov't legislation/regulation in Computerworld's Gov't Legislation/Regulation Topic Center.


Originally published on Computerworld |  Click here to read the original story.
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