Establishes the "protect our privacy (POP) act" to impose limitations on the use of drones for law enforcement purposes; prohibits the use of drones by law enforcement at concerts, protests, demonstrations, or other actions protected by the first amendment and requires a search warrant prior to using a drone for law enforcement purposes.
STATE OF NEW YORK
2021-2022 Regular Sessions
January 6, 2021
Introduced by Sen. RAMOS -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
printed to be committed to the Committee on Codes
AN ACT to amend the civil rights law, in relation to imposing limita-
tions on the use of drones for law enforcement purposes
The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-bly, do enact as follows:
1 Section 1. This act shall be known and may be cited as the "protect
2 our privacy (POP) act".
3 § 2. The civil rights law is amended by adding a new section 52-d to
4 read as follows:
5 § 52-d. Limitations on the use of drones; law enforcement purposes. 1.
6 The use of drones to observe, monitor, document, record, investigate, or
7 collect data by law enforcement at concerts, protests, demonstrations,
8 or other actions protected by the first amendment to the United States
9 Constitution or sections eight and nine of article one of the state
10 constitution is prohibited.
11 2. People have a reasonable expectation of privacy and a constitu-
12 tional right to be free from warrantless observation, monitoring,
13 documentation, recording, or investigation by a drone. A search
14 warrant, issued upon a finding of probable cause, shall be required for
15 any use of drones for law enforcement purposes that is not specifically
16 prohibited by subdivision one of this section. A search warrant cannot
17 permit the use of drones for the purposeful or incidental observation,
18 documentation, recording, investigation, or collection of data by law
19 enforcement at concerts, protests, demonstrations, or other actions
20 protected by the first amendment to the United States Constitution or
21 sections eight and nine of article one of the state constitution.
22 3. The use for law enforcement purposes of any drone owned,
23 controlled, or maintained by a private company, private individual, or
24 other government agency shall be subject to the provisions of subdivi-
EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
 is old law to be omitted.
S. 675 2
1 sions one and two of this section. A search warrant, issued upon a find-
2 ing of probable cause, shall be required for law enforcement to obtain
3 any data or information obtained by a drone that is owned, controlled,
4 or maintained by a private company, private individual, or other govern-
5 ment agency. A search warrant cannot authorize obtaining any data or
6 information relating to the purposeful or incidental observation,
7 documentation, recording, investigation, or collection of data at
8 concerts, protests, demonstrations, or other actions protected by the
9 first amendment to the United States Constitution or sections eight and
10 nine of article one of the state constitution except in the investi-
11 gation or prosecution for violations of subdivisions one or two of this
13 4. Law enforcement is prohibited from using drones equipped with
14 facial recognition software or using facial recognition on video or
15 images obtained or created by a drone, including videos or images
16 obtained or created by drones owned, controlled, or maintained by a
17 private company, a private individual, or other government agency. This
18 section shall retroactively apply to videos or images obtained or
19 created by drones prior to the effective date of this section.
20 5. Drones equipped with devices used for crowd control purposes or any
21 lethal or non-lethal weapons are prohibited.
22 6. Data or information obtained by drones and within the control of
23 any government agency or in the possession of a private company or indi-
24 vidual on behalf of any government agency shall be subject to release
25 under the freedom of information law, provided that all personal identi-
26 fying information, except for that of law enforcement personnel acting
27 within their official responsibilities or performing an official func-
28 tion, shall be redacted prior to such release.
29 7. All data or information obtained by the use of drones for law
30 enforcement purposes that are not part of an ongoing criminal investi-
31 gation or proceeding shall be destroyed in one year or less, absent a
32 subpoena or court order. Data or information not destroyed in one year
33 or less pursuant to a subpoena or court order and that is within the
34 control of any government agency or in the possession of a private
35 company or individual on behalf of any government agency shall be
36 destroyed once the proceedings or investigations that the subpoena or
37 court order related to have ended.
38 8. As used in this section:
39 a. "Drone" means an aerial vehicle or a balloon float or other device
40 that can fly autonomously or be piloted remotely.
41 b. "Law enforcement" means a lawfully established state or local
42 public agency that is responsible for the prevention and detection of
43 crime, the enforcement of local government codes and the enforcement of
44 penal, traffic, regulatory, game or controlled substance laws and
45 includes an agent of the law enforcement agency.
46 c. "Search warrant" means a search warrant as defined in section
47 690.05 of the criminal procedure law.
48 § 3. This act shall take effect immediately.