The Aerospace State Association (ASA) on Tuesday at AUVSI's Unmanned Systems 2013 advised state and local governments to consider requiring warrants for government surveillance of individuals with unmanned aircraft systems (UAS).
Warrants were among a list of recommendations developed by ASA in collaboration with other state governmental organizations, as the group seeks to provide guidance for state lawmakers developing UAS legislation, as the United States prepares to integrate unmanned aircraft into the National Airspace System by 2015, as required by the 2012 FAA Reauthorization Act.
“Last year, when Congress mandated that the Federal Aviation Administration create a plan to integrate UAS in the national airspace, I don’t think anyone anticipated that their progress would be so long delayed by a widespread concern over privacy rights,” said Alaska Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell, chairman of ASA.
Along with warrants, ASA is also recommending states not allow UAS to track identifiable individuals without their consent, and prohibit the aircraft from carrying weapons within commercial airspace.
Treadwell said he believes ASA's recommendations both "exploit the significant economic and humanitarian benefits of UAS technology," while also protecting individual privacy rights granted by the Fourth Amendment.
According to the ASA chairman, four states have developed regulations for UAS, and about 35 others are developing similar laws.