On August 28, 2013 Governor Pat Quinn signed into law the Illinois Drone Regulation Bill amidth privacy concerns.
Sponsored by Senator Daniel Biss and backed by the American Civil Liberties Union, the new law requires law enforcement to get a search warrant before they can legally collect information using unmanned drones. This law does not apply to the Department of Homeland Security as they use drone surveillance to deal with terrorist threats.
In the coming years , tens of thousands civilian drones are expected in U.S. skies. Future laws are all but inevitable amidth privacy concerns. One can only hope that future legislation takes a common sense approach.
I have had personal interaction with Chicago law enforcement. They have prohibited me from launching my drone in the downtown area. No mention of law, just that they would not permit me to fly. I did abide by their wishes out of convenience. Though I did feel they were just pushing their weight around rather than enforcing a law. I wondered if they might attach my flight to some other law. Seems to me like Chicago has got much bigger fish to fry. If you’re in the Chicagoland area simply turn on the 10:00 news and you’ll know what I mean.
Lets face it. Legislation is inevitable. For me, a photographer, it could spell doom. I have no interests in spying on people. I have no desire to endanger public safety. I only set out to take photos from a perspective that until now was only available from high platforms or planes. I look for photos of wildlife over water. You get my drift. I’m not a fan of Washington nor any of the other “fund-sucking” municipalities. I would prefer they stay out of of lives and out of our pockets.