Ben Wolfgang
August 31, 2012

In the ongoing effort to quell public unease about the impact of of unmanned drones on personal privacy, three more leading law enforcement groups on Friday endorsed industry-backed guidelines limiting the use of unmanned aerial vehicles.

The Airborne Law Enforcement Association, the FBI Law Enforcement Executive Development Association and the FBI National Academy Associates joined the International Association of Chiefs of Police in supporting rules designed to keep police and other agencies from abusing the power that comes with drone use.

The guidelines call for law enforcement personnel to “secure a search warrant prior to conducting the flight” if a drone could infringe upon “reasonable expectations of privacy.” The rules also say that any images collected by an unmanned vehicle won’t be retained unless they’re collected as “evidence of a crime” or as part of an ongoing investigation. Unless the photos or video are exempt by law, they should also be open for public inspection, the policy states.

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