Surveillance drones used by law enforcement is a good way to help fight against crime on the streets. When monitored and used carefully, surveillance drones can help lower the crime rate in every neighborhood. But, surveillance drones can easily be misused by law enforcement too. Here are 5 ways that law enforcement can misuse surveillance drones:
5 Ways Law Enforcement can Misuse Surveillance Drones
1. No Warrant – Having to obtain a warrant each time to use a drone for surveillance purposes will keep law enforcement highly accountable for their usage of such drones. If warrants are not instated to keep law enforcement held accountable for drone surveillance, it opens the door for misuse of the surveillance drones. With no warrant, there will not be a judge involved to decide if the surveillance drones will be put to use in a way that strictly meets the FAA regulations.
2. Public Places – When a surveillance drone is either searching for a suspect in a crowd or tailing a suspect in a crowd and records the event, it is crossing the line of civilian privacy. While the surveillance drone is either searching for or tailing a suspect, it is also capturing on camera everyone else in the crowd that is insight of the camera view. The 4th Amendment of the Bill of Rights protects citizens of the United States against unreasonable searches. Capturing unsuspecting people on camera in the crowd while searching for or tailing a suspect is breaking the 4th Amendment rights.
3. Equip with Non-lethal weapons – It may seem to be a good idea to equip surveillance drones with non-lethal weapons such as rubber bullet, bean bags, and tear gas. It does make since for such drones to be equipped because they are the first responders to criminal acts. But, what if one of the surveillance drones goes haywire or the operator has a lapse of judgment? What would happen is that a great big lawsuit against law enforcement would occur.
4. Have Unlimited Data – Having unlimited data to use and keep means that there would be no restrictions of how much data could be used and kept for each surveillance drone usage. All of the captured videos that also include unsuspecting citizens in view of the camera would be used and kept as well. The misuse of data will lead to unwanted lawsuits and mistrials.
5. Kept Top Secret – Many of the military drones used in military operations were kept top secret by the Obama administration. President Barack Obama was recently forced to disclose future military usage of military drones. The same scenario will happen when any law enforcement is caught using surveillance drones for top secret operations.