HB 207 permits law enforcement to operate drones for evidence and information collection only if any of the following circumstances apply:
- When necessary to address credible intelligence from the U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security indicating a high risk of a terrorist attack;
- When a drone is being used in accordance with a search warrant; and,
- When there is reasonable suspicion swift action is needed to prevent imminent harm to life; serious damage to property; imminent escape of a suspect; or the destruction of evidence
Information or evidence collected outside of the scope of these circumstances cannot be used in court. This bill also authorizes civil action for people who are harmed when drones are used in violation of these provisions.
LCS Legislation Status
Our Take on This Bill
With rapid changes in technology making it easier and less expensive to expand government surveillance, the ACLU of Ohio is concerned about the erosion of privacy rights. While new technologies like drones pose unique privacy challenges, they can be used in a manner that maintains civil liberties when meaningful regulations are in place. HB 207 specifically sets clear guidelines for law enforcement’s use of drones, which is a proactive step to balance civil liberties and public safety.
Passed out of the House Transportation, Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee on 5/28/14
Transportation / Public Safety / Homeland Security (H)