South Carolina State Representatives Dan Hamilton and Greg Delleney have introduced a bill that would ensure unmanned aircraft, known as drones, would not be used for mass surveillance or to gather criminal evidence without a warrant.

Rep. Hamilton stated: “It’s a privacy issue, and it’s a Bill of Rights issue. We are protected by the Bill of Rights to not be searched on our own property without a warrant.”

H. 3514 would amend the Code of Laws of South Carolina to:

“Define necessary terms, prohibit the operation of a public unmanned aircraft system and the disclosure of personal information acquired through the operation of a public unmanned aircraft system, to provide penalties for violation, and to provide exceptions.”

In addition to requiring that surveillance and criminal investigation via drones not be conducted without a warrant, H. 3514 would mandate that individuals investigated in this manner be served a copy of the warrant within a specified time frame, except in the case of extenuating circumstances defined therein.

It would also prohibit the gathering of biometric data via drones, as well as any information on any individual not specifically named in the warrant. Furthermore, H. 3514 stipulates that under no circumstances may any personal information gathered via public unmanned aircraft be used in a criminal investigation. It also provides guidance regarding the destruction of personal information gathered via drones.

H. 3514 was introduced in the House on February 7, 2013, and was referred to the House Judiciary Committee.


If you live in South Carolina, contact your state legislator. Let him or her know of your concern for privacy protections in the use of drones, and request support for H. 3514.


If you’re outside of South Carolina, please contact your own legislators regarding anti-drone legislation. If none has been introduced in your state, you can email them The Privacy Protection Act model legislation.

Track the status of drone nullification in states around the country HERE

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