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New California Legislation Limits Paparazzi’s Use of Drones

October 7, 2015  - By
Image: GPS World

Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation Tuesday to expand privacy protections to prevent paparazzi from flying drones over private property, reports sUAS news.

The bill, AB 856, changes the definition of a “physical invasion of privacy” to include sending a drone into the airspace above someone’s land to make a recording or take a photo.

Brown previously vetoed in September a proposal that would have made flying a drone above someone’s property without permission a trespassing violation, writing in a veto message, “While well-intentioned, [the bill] could expose the occasional hobbyist and the FAA-approved commercial user alike to burdensome litigation and new causes of action.”

The governor also rejected three bills that would have prohibited civilians from flying aerial drones over wildfires, schools, prisons and jails. Some of the proposals were intended to prevent interference with firefighting aircraft — a recurring problem, according to fire officials — and prevent inmates from receiving airborne contraband. Brown rejected the bills because they would create new crimes.

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About the Author: Tracy Cozzens

Senior Editor Tracy Cozzens joined GPS World magazine in 2006. She also is editor of GPS World’s newsletters and the sister website Geospatial Solutions. She has worked in government, for non-profits, and in corporate communications, editing a variety of publications for audiences ranging from federal government contractors to teachers.