senate Bill S4839

2013-2014 Legislative Session

Regulates the use of unmanned aerial vehicles by the state and political subdivisions thereof

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Archive: Last Bill Status - In Committee


  • Introduced
  • In Committee
  • On Floor Calendar
    • Passed Senate
    • Passed Assembly
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed/Vetoed by Governor

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Assembly Actions - Lowercase
Senate Actions - UPPERCASE
Jan 08, 2014 referred to codes
Apr 26, 2013 referred to codes

S4839 - Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A6541
Current Committee:
Senate Codes
Law Section:
Civil Rights Law
Laws Affected:
Add Art 6-A ยงยง66 - 66-d, Civ Rts L

S4839 - Bill Texts

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Regulates the use of unmanned aerial vehicles by the state and political subdivisions thereof.

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BILL NUMBER:S4839

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the civil rights law, in relation to
the use of unmanned aerial vehicles

PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF THE BILL: To establish a framework for
regulating the use of unmanned aerial vehicles by state and local
agents.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:

Section 1 lays out legislative findings.

Section 2 creates a new article within Title T of the criminal
procedure law that:

-Defines "unmanned aerial vehicle."

-Requires that a law enforcement agency get the approval of their
governing body prior to obtaining a uav.

-Prohibits the use: uav's by state or local agents unless it falls
under any of these four exemptions: land owner consent, an emergency
situation, the acquisition of an eavesdropping or video surveillance
warrant, or for academic or scientific research in areas such as, but
not limited to, atmospheric studies, agricultural studies or land use
studies.

-Prohibits the use of drones equipped with lethal or non-lethal
weapons. Requires the deletion of excess, non-target, data collected
by drones within 24 hours.

-Prohibits the use-of uav collected data as evidence in trails when
the data is collected in violation of this article.

-Establishes reporting requirements for agencies that use uav's.

JUSTIFICATION: Unmanned aerial vehicle technology has begun expanding
out of its traditional military markets and into civilian markets. In
order to accommodate this expansion Congress has ordered the FAA to
integrate unmanned aerial vehicles into the air traffic control system
by 2015. Many agencies across the U.S. have already applied to the
FAA for licenses to operate unmanned aerial vehicles. This represents
a double edged sword, in so far as unmanned aerial vehicles can be
both a great tool for law enforcement and scientific research, but
also a great risk to civil liberties. This legislation intends to
ensure that the future use of unmanned aerial vehicles complies with
level of privacy that New Yorkers have come to expect in their lives.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: New bill.

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.

EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately.


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                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

                                  4839

                       2013-2014 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                             April 26, 2013
                               ___________

Introduced  by  Sen. LATIMER -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
  printed to be committed to the Committee on Codes

AN ACT to amend the civil rights law, in relation to the use of unmanned
  aerial vehicles

  THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND  ASSEM-
BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  Section 1. Legislative findings. The legislature hereby finds that:
  (a)  unmanned aerial vehicle technology has begun expanding out of its
traditional military markets and into civilian markets;
  (b) Congress has ordered the Federal Aviation Administration to  inte-
grate  unmanned  aerial  vehicles into the air traffic control system by
2015;
  (c) 81 agencies across the United States have applied to  the  Federal
Aviation  Administration  for  licenses to operate unmanned aerial vehi-
cles;
  (d) the use of unmanned aerial vehicles represents both a  great  tool
for law enforcement and a great risk to civil liberties; and
  (e)  legislation is required to ensure that the future use of unmanned
aerial vehicles complies with the level of privacy that New Yorkers have
come to expect in their lives.
  S 2. The civil rights law is amended by adding a new  article  6-A  to
read as follows:
                                ARTICLE 6-A
                         USE OF UNMANNED AERIAL
                                VEHICLES
SECTION 66.   USE OF UNMANNED AERIAL VEHICLES; DEFINITION.
        66-A. LAWFUL USE OF UNMANNED AERIAL VEHICLES.
        66-B. DATA RETENTION.
        66-C. ADMINISTRATIVE  DISCIPLINE  FOR  MISUSE OF UNMANNED AERIAL
                VEHICLES.
        66-D. REPORTING.

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD10034-02-3

S. 4839                             2

  S 66. USE OF UNMANNED AERIAL VEHICLES; DEFINITION.   AS USED  IN  THIS
ARTICLE,  "UNMANNED  AERIAL VEHICLE" MEANS ANY AIRCRAFT THAT IS OPERATED
WITHOUT THE POSSIBILITY OF DIRECT HUMAN INTERVENTION FROM WITHIN  OR  ON
THE AIRCRAFT.
  S  66-A.  LAWFUL  USE  OF  UNMANNED AERIAL VEHICLES.   1. EVERY USE OF
UNMANNED AERIAL VEHICLES SHALL FULLY COMPLY WITH  ALL  FEDERAL  AVIATION
ADMINISTRATION  REQUIREMENTS AND GUIDELINES, AND ACQUISITION OF UNMANNED
AERIAL VEHICLES BY LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES  MUST  BE  APPROVED  BY  THE
GOVERNING  BODY OF THE POLITICAL SUBDIVISION OVERSEEING THE LAW ENFORCE-
MENT AGENCY SEEKING TO ACQUIRE THE UNMANNED AERIAL VEHICLES.
  2. EXCEPT AS PROVIDED IN SUBDIVISION THREE  OF  THIS  SECTION,  IT  IS
UNLAWFUL  FOR AN AGENT OF THE STATE OR ANY POLITICAL SUBDIVISION THEREOF
TO OPERATE AN UNMANNED AERIAL VEHICLE, OR TO DISCLOSE OR RECEIVE  INFOR-
MATION ACQUIRED THROUGH THE OPERATION OF AN UNMANNED AERIAL VEHICLE.
  3.  THE FOLLOWING SHALL BE EXCEPTIONS FROM THE PROHIBITION ESTABLISHED
IN SUBDIVISION TWO OF THIS SECTION:
  (A) IT SHALL NOT BE UNLAWFUL PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION TO  DISCLOSE  OR
RECEIVE  INFORMATION  ABOUT  ANY  PERSON OR THEIR REAL PROPERTY ACQUIRED
THROUGH THE OPERATION OF AN UNMANNED AERIAL VEHICLE IF SUCH  PERSON  HAS
GIVEN WRITTEN CONSENT TO SUCH DISCLOSURE;
  (B)  IT SHALL NOT BE UNLAWFUL PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION FOR AN AGENT OF
THE STATE OR ANY POLITICAL SUBDIVISION THEREOF TO  OPERATE  AN  UNMANNED
AERIAL  VEHICLE  AND FOR INFORMATION FROM SUCH OPERATION TO BE DISCLOSED
OR RECEIVED IF THE UNMANNED AERIAL VEHICLE IS USED IN  CIRCUMSTANCES  IN
WHICH  IT  IS  REASONABLE TO BELIEVE THAT THERE IS AN IMMINENT THREAT TO
THE LIFE OR SAFETY OF A PERSON,  AND  TO  THEREBY  ASSIST  SUCH  PERSON,
PROVIDED  THAT  NOT  LATER THAN FORTY-EIGHT HOURS AFTER THE AGENT OF THE
STATE OR ANY POLITICAL  SUBDIVISION  THEREOF  BEGINS  OPERATION  OF  THE
UNMANNED  AERIAL  VEHICLE,  A  SUPERVISORY OFFICIAL OF THE STATE OR SUCH
POLITICAL SUBDIVISION SHALL FILE THE SWORN STATEMENT WITH A COURT HAVING
JURISDICTION OVER THE AREA OF THE EMERGENCY SETTING  FORTH  THE  FACTUAL
BASIS AND GROUNDS FOR THE EMERGENCY ACCESS;
  (C) PURSUANT TO THE FOLLOWING WARRANTS:
  (1)  EAVESDROPPING WARRANT. AN UNMANNED AERIAL VEHICLE MAY BE OPERATED
FOR THE PURPOSE OF EAVESDROPPING, AND INFORMATION  FROM  SUCH  OPERATION
DISCLOSED  ONLY  PURSUANT TO AN EAVESDROPPING WARRANT ISSUED PURSUANT TO
AND REGULATED BY ARTICLE SEVEN HUNDRED OF THE CRIMINAL PROCEDURE LAW.
  (2) VIDEO SURVEILLANCE WARRANT. AN  UNMANNED  AERIAL  VEHICLE  MAY  BE
OPERATED  FOR  THE  PURPOSE  OF VIDEO SURVEILLANCE, AND INFORMATION FROM
SUCH OPERATION DISCLOSED ONLY PURSUANT TO A VIDEO  SURVEILLANCE  WARRANT
ISSUED  PURSUANT TO AND REGULATED BY ARTICLE SEVEN HUNDRED OF THE CRIMI-
NAL PROCEDURE LAW.
  A JUDGE MAY ISSUE SUCH WARRANTS SIMULTANEOUSLY OR INDIVIDUALLY  AS  HE
OR SHE SEES FIT.
  (D)  IT SHALL NOT BE UNLAWFUL PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION FOR AN AGENT OF
THE STATE OR ANY POLITICAL SUBDIVISION THEREOF TO  OPERATE  AN  UNMANNED
AERIAL  VEHICLE FOR RESEARCH IN AREAS SUCH AS, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, ATMO-
SPHERIC STUDIES, AGRICULTURAL STUDIES AND LAND USE  STUDIES.    PROVIDED
THAT NO PART OF ANY INFORMATION AND NO EVIDENCE DERIVED FROM SUCH OPERA-
TION MAY BE RECEIVED AS EVIDENCE IN ANY TRIAL, HEARING OR OTHER PROCEED-
ING  IN  OR  BEFORE  ANY COURT, GRAND JURY, DEPARTMENT, OFFICER, AGENCY,
REGULATORY ENFORCEMENT BODY, OR  OTHER  DISCIPLINARY  AUTHORITY  OF  THE
STATE  OR  A  POLITICAL  SUBDIVISION  THEREOF,  OR  FOR ANY INTELLIGENCE
PURPOSE.
  4. WHEN UNMANNED AERIAL VEHICLES ARE USED PURSUANT TO PARAGRAPH (C) OF
SUBDIVISION THREE OF THIS SECTION, THEY SHALL BE OPERATED IN A MANNER TO

S. 4839                             3

COLLECT DATA ONLY ON THE TARGET AND TO AVOID DATA COLLECTION ON INDIVID-
UALS, HOMES OR AREAS OTHER THAN THE TARGET. NEITHER  FACIAL  RECOGNITION
NOR OTHER BIOMETRIC MATCHING TECHNOLOGY SHALL BE USED ON NON-TARGET DATA
COLLECTED BY AN UNMANNED AERIAL VEHICLE.
  5.  NO UNMANNED AERIAL VEHICLE OPERATED IN THE STATE SHALL BE EQUIPPED
WITH ANY LETHAL OR NON-LETHAL WEAPON.
  S 66-B. DATA RETENTION.  1. NO DATA COLLECTED  PURSUANT  TO  PARAGRAPH
(A),  (B)  OR  (C)  OF  SUBDIVISION THREE OF SECTION SIXTY-SIX-A OF THIS
ARTICLE ON AN INDIVIDUAL HOME OR AREA OTHER THAN THE TARGET THAT  JUSTI-
FIED  DEPLOYMENT  MAY BE USED, COPIED OR DISCLOSED FOR ANY PURPOSE. SUCH
DATA SHALL BE DELETED AS SOON AS POSSIBLE, AND IN NO  EVENT  LATER  THAN
TWENTY-FOUR HOURS AFTER COLLECTION.
  2. WHENEVER AN AGENT OF THE STATE OR ANY POLITICAL SUBDIVISION THEREOF
USES AN UNMANNED AERIAL VEHICLE, NO PART OF THE INFORMATION ACQUIRED AND
NO  EVIDENCE  DERIVED  THEREFROM  SHALL  BE  RECEIVED IN EVIDENCE IN ANY
TRIAL, HEARING OR OTHER PROCEEDING IN OR BEFORE ANY COURT,  GRAND  JURY,
DEPARTMENT,  OFFICER, AGENCY, REGULATORY BODY, LEGISLATIVE COMMITTEE, OR
OTHER AUTHORITY OF THE STATE OR A POLITICAL SUBDIVISION THEREOF  IF  THE
DISCLOSURE OF THAT INFORMATION IS IN VIOLATION OF THIS ARTICLE.
  S 66-C. ADMINISTRATIVE  DISCIPLINE FOR MISUSE OF UNMANNED AERIAL VEHI-
CLES.  1. IF A COURT OR APPROPRIATE DEPARTMENT OR AGENCY DETERMINES THAT
AN AGENT OF THE STATE OR ANY POLITICAL SUBDIVISION THEREOF HAS  VIOLATED
ANY  PROVISION  OF THIS ARTICLE, AND THE COURT OR APPROPRIATE DEPARTMENT
OR AGENCY FINDS THAT THE CIRCUMSTANCES SURROUNDING THE  VIOLATION  RAISE
SERIOUS  QUESTIONS  ABOUT WHETHER OR NOT THE AGENT OF THE STATE OR POLI-
TICAL SUBDIVISION THEREOF ACTED WILLFULLY OR INTENTIONALLY WITH  RESPECT
TO THE VIOLATION, THE DEPARTMENT OR AGENCY SHALL, UPON RECEIPT OF A TRUE
AND  CORRECT COPY OF THE DECISION AND FINDINGS OF THE COURT OR APPROPRI-
ATE DEPARTMENT OR AGENCY PROMPTLY INITIATE  A  PROCEEDING  TO  DETERMINE
WHETHER  DISCIPLINARY ACTION AGAINST THE AGENT OF THE STATE OR POLITICAL
SUBDIVISION THEREOF IS WARRANTED. IF THE HEAD OF THE DEPARTMENT OR AGEN-
CY INVOLVED DETERMINES THAT DISCIPLINARY ACTION IS NOT  WARRANTED,  SUCH
HEAD SHALL NOTIFY THE STATE INSPECTOR GENERAL WITH JURISDICTION OVER THE
DEPARTMENT  OR  AGENCY  CONCERNED  AND SHALL PROVIDE THE STATE INSPECTOR
GENERAL WITH THE REASONS FOR SUCH DETERMINATION.
  2. ANY WILLFUL DISCLOSURE OR USE BY AN AGENT OF THE STATE OR ANY POLI-
TICAL SUBDIVISION THEREOF OF INFORMATION BEYOND THE EXTENT PERMITTED  BY
THIS  ARTICLE  IS  A  VIOLATION  OF  THIS  ARTICLE  FOR PURPOSES OF THIS
SECTION.
  S 66-D. REPORTING.  ON OR BEFORE JUNE FIRST EACH YEAR, ANY  AGENCY  OF
THE  STATE  OR  POLITICAL  SUBDIVISION THEREOF THAT USES UNMANNED AERIAL
VEHICLES SHALL REPORT TO THE LEGISLATURE AND MAKE PUBLIC ON ITS WEBSITE:
  1. THE NUMBER OF TIMES AN UNMANNED AERIAL VEHICLE WAS USED,  ORGANIZED
BY THE TYPES OF INCIDENTS AND THE TYPES OF JUSTIFICATION FOR DEPLOYMENT;
  2.  THE  NUMBER  OF  CRIME INVESTIGATIONS AIDED BY THE USE OF UNMANNED
AERIAL VEHICLES, AND A DESCRIPTION OF HOW THE  UNMANNED  AERIAL  VEHICLE
WAS HELPFUL TO EACH SUCH INVESTIGATION;
  3.  THE  NUMBER  OF USES OF UNMANNED AERIAL VEHICLES FOR REASONS OTHER
THAN CRIMINAL INVESTIGATIONS, AND A  DESCRIPTION  OF  HOW  THE  UNMANNED
AERIAL VEHICLE WAS HELPFUL IN EACH SUCH INSTANCE;
  4.  THE  FREQUENCY  AND TYPE OF DATA COLLECTED ON INDIVIDUALS OR AREAS
OTHER THAN TARGETS; AND
  5. THE TOTAL COST OF THEIR UNMANNED AERIAL VEHICLE PROGRAM.
  S 3. This act shall take effect immediately.

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