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Published on Friday, January 17, 2014

Jurisdictions may need a warrant to use extraordinary sensing devices – drones

HB 2179 establishes a process for conducting advance technological surveillance with extraordinary sensing devices commonly referred to as drones. HB 2179 would prohibit the use of these devices unless the jurisdiction had a warrant. It also requires jurisdictions to audit the use of these devices and report to the Washington State Patrol.

Advances in technology have made it possible to use these devises to view damage done by natural disasters without putting law enforcement and rescue personnel in danger. Law enforcement can benefit from these devices and reduce the risk of lost lives and injury when responding to dangerous situations. Law enforcement has expressed concerns that the requirements in HB 2179 will make it difficult if not impossible to use this technology. HB 2179 was heard January 16 in the House Technology & Economic Development Committee. AWC opposed the bill as drafted and will continue to monitor this legislation.

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