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New Bill Seeking To Limit Law Enforcement’s, Public’s Use Of Drones

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SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – Drones are used by Cal Fire, real estate agents and even children. They have the ability to capture high definition videos from up above, but some are afraid of what those cameras will see.

They are so easy to use even a kindergartner can fly one.

“You actually have kids as young as 6 years old getting up in the air and flying with perfect control,” said Capital City RC Center owner Amer Sahtout.

The remote control helicopters, or drones, can fly just about anywhere and offer a close-up birds-eye view — one that could last forever.

“Basically looking for something where they have the ability to record,” said Sahtout.

You can record video of a city monument or a quick look at a rooftop air conditioner. But, the crystal clear high-definition images can also be used to spy on strangers or next door neighbors.

“We do have several folks that come in here kind of wondering what their neighbors are doing on the other side,” said Sahtout.

This is why California Sen. Alex Padilla, D-Pacoima, has written a bill that would limit the use of the aerial drones.

“All of the privacy laws we have on the books do not apply to drones and other technologies like it,” he said.

These drones are everywhere. Hundreds of thousands are sold around the country at an average cost of just $300. Padilla wants to keep these high tech spy machines away from your windows.

“Protecting and setting restrictions on how images, video and photographs may be obtained using drones,” Padilla said of what his bill would do.

So just as the popularity soars sky high, the laws to limit the power of these drones now loom close behind.

Padilla’s bill also limits the power of law enforcement and the government’s use of drones for spying on citizens without a warrant.

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