* SB2937 passed the House unanimously today and now goes to the governor. From the synopsis…
Provides that except as provided in the Act, a law enforcement agency may not acquire information from or direct the acquisition of information through the use of a drone owned by a private third party. Provides that in the event that law enforcement acquires information from or directs the acquisition of information through the use of a privately owned drone under the Act, any information so acquired is subject to the retention and disclosure requirements of the Act. Provides that nothing in the Act prohibits private third parties from voluntarily submitting information acquired by a privately owned drone to law enforcement. Provides that in the event that law enforcement acquires information from the voluntary submission of that information whether under a request or on a private drone owner’s initiative, the information is subject to the retention and disclosure requirements of the Act.
Senate Committee Amendment No. 1
Allows use of a drone without a search warrant, if a law enforcement agency is using a drone during a disaster or public health emergency. The use of a drone does not require an official declaration of a disaster or public health emergency prior to use. The drone may be used to obtain information necessary for the determination of whether or not a disaster or public health emergency should be declared, to monitor weather or emergency conditions, to survey damage, or to otherwise coordinate response and recovery efforts. The use of a drone is permissible during the disaster or public health emergency and during subsequent response and recovery efforts. Disaster and public health emergency have the meaning as defined by the Illinois Emergency Management Agency Act.
* From the ACLU…
With today’s vote on Senate Bill 2937, Illinois soon will have some of the most far-reaching regulation of the use of drones by law enforcement in the nation. This new bill builds on last year’s enacted law, and ensures that law enforcement cannot simply turn to the growing army of private drone operators to conduct surveillance and evade the current law’s regulations. We hope the Governor will quickly add these protections to Illinois law.
The emerging drone technology is a powerful surveillance tool. We must ensure that our laws keep current with this advancing technology in order to protect privacy in our state. This measure is consistent with our commitment to this process.