$HALB Drone makers market to law enforcement at Vegas convention
Posted: Aug 08, 2012 9:57 PM CDT
Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, or UAVs, could soon bring a whole new meaning to the phrase "Big Brother is watching."
"Whenever you introduce new technology, there's always the potential for abuse," said Stephen McKeever, state of Oklahoma secretary of Science and Technology.
Hundreds of companies are in Las Vegas this week for the Association of Unmanned Vehicle Systems International convention.
Many vendors are marketing their equipment to law enforcement.
"They can send up this UAV and send it out into the field instead of chasing a fugitive. Or they can have it up over a house to watch where they might not be able to see what's going on at all times," said William Robinson, director of Sales and Marketing for Adaptive Flight.
But Carl Bunce, vice chairman of the Clark County Republican Party, is uneasy about police using these machines.
"Law enforcement can't just peak over your fence with a camera now without a warrant... with the new technology, even though you can fly it 30,000 feet or two miles in the air, whatever and zoom down in someone's backyard doesn't mean you have the right to do it," said Bunce.
After 2015, the FAA will allow UAVs for private and commercial use.
Bunce supports legislation introduced from both sides of the aisle which would require the FAA to keep track of what data drones will collect and how that data will be used before granting licenses.
"People still have their Fourth Amendment rights that they're concerned about. They have a reasonable expectation of privacy on their property and their businesses and on their farm land," Bunce told FOX5.