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Oregon Drone Bill Clears House, Heads To Senate

OPB | April 16, 2013 1:18 p.m. | Updated: April 16, 2013 2:32 p.m.

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The Oregon Senate is the next stop for a House-approved bill that would restrict how police and other state agencies could use drones. 

House Bill 2710 prohibits law enforcement agencies from using drones for surveillance without first obtaining a warrant.  The bill carves out an exception for situations where public safety is at risk.  The legislation also requires that all photos and other data collected by a drone be destroyed within 30 days unless they’re needed as evidence in a criminal prosecution.

The bill was sponsored by Republicans John Huffman and Gene Whisnant.  It passed with bipartisan support.  Speaking on the House Floor, Democratic Representative Jennifer Williamson said new technological advancements inevitably raise concerns about their potential misuse.

“We don’t know what lays ahead but if we continue to put our citizens’ privacy rights first and work with law enforcement, I think we’ll be the better for it,” said Williamson.

Huffman who sponsored the bill expects it will be amended in the Senate to assure Oregonians that their right to privacy will remain intact.


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