Massachusetts to regulate drone use by police, government if bill passes

Lawmakers will consider a bill proposing to impose limitations on the use of unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones, by police and other governmental authorities in the State Gouse in Boston on Monday. 

Proposed by Weymouth Republican Patrick O’Connor, Bill S. 1349 seeks to bar governmental use of drones to “track, collect or maintain information about the political, religious or social views, associations or activities of any individual, group, association, organization, corporation.”

Drones equipped with weapons would be outlawed under the legislation while use of facial recognition and other biometric matching technology by drones would be limited to criminal cases with a warrant in play. 

The proposed regulations have been received the support of the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts.

Monday’s hearing is being held by the Judiciary Committee and is open to the public. 

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