Washington is joining many other states in the fight over unmanned aerial vehicles. As the public grows more concerned over their possible use, state reps are responding by creating legislation to deal with the potential privacy violations that could ensue.
HB 1771, was introduced earlier this month by Representative David Taylor. It has 19 co-sponsors, including both democrats and republicans. The intention of the bill is to protect Washington citizens from warrantless surveillance, reduce liability, and create clear standards under which unmanned aerial vehicles may be utilized by various agencies.
The bill not only speaks to the procurement of drones, but also deals with the kind of information that will be collected, and what can be done with it. “All operations of a public unmanned aircraft system or disclosure of personal information about any person acquired through the operation of a public unmanned aircraft system shall be conducted in such a way as to minimize the collection and disclosure of personal information not authorized under this chapter.”
It goes on to list personal information as including a broad spectrum of things, such as anything that describes, locates or indexes anything about a person (licenses, identification numbers, tax returns, intellectual property etc.), and anything that affords a basis for inferring personal characteristics ( registration and membership in organizations, finger and voice prints, etc.)