I can see all the conspiracy theories coming about on this. Although hey direct it at alleged criminal activities it sounds reasonable. You must have a warrant and therefore probable cause.
The bill, sponsored by Sen. Daniel Biss, would require authorities to obtain a search warrant before using a drone to collect information. Lawmakers voted 52-1 to send the measure to the House. Biss, an Evanston Democrat, said his proposal will help maintain people’s reasonable expectation of privacy.It's best to start asking questions about this now than to just go forward and realize that we may be overstepping some legal boundaries here. I wonder how effective such drones would be in urban areas anyway. I can see such tools being used in rural areas. All the same time will tell how useful they could be or even how useless.
The legislative measure also prohibits law enforcement agencies from using armed drones.
The Champaign County sheriff has already experimented with using a drone, and the Cook County sheriff has expressed enthusiasm about the technology. But civil rights groups and lawmakers worry that the technology could be used to subject people to unwarranted intrusion.
“It’s all about this new technology, that if it’s not restricted in some way, enables government and law enforcement to have a completely unprecedented level of knowledge of what people do, where they go, and frankly therefore, what they think,” Biss said following the debate.
Drones are already flying in America’s skies. But more widespread use is expected to begin in 2015 because of federal regulations.