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Illinois now lets cops fly drones over occasions — however not with weapons or facial recognition

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Cops can’t connect weapons to drones in Illinois, beginning right now — and so they can’t use drones for facial recognition except they’re making an attempt to counter a terrorist assault, stopping “imminent hurt to life,” or ensuring a suspect doesn’t get away.

However they will do one thing they couldn’t earlier than in Illinois: fly over public occasions in any respect.

Right now, the state signed the Drones as First Responders Act into regulation (by way of Hacker News). The brand new act modifies one other one from 2014 — the Freedom from Drone Surveillance Act, which has banned regulation enforcement from utilizing drones to “collect data” within the state (except for terrorist or imminent hurt conditions) for the previous seven years.

The brand new invoice is designed to forestall shootings like the one on the Highland Park Fourth of July parade final yr, which state senator Julie Morrison argued might have been prevented if not for that 2014 regulation. But it surely additionally limits drone weaponization and facial recognition over “issues about drone surveillance and privateness,” according to a release from Sen. Morrison.

Right now’s modifications additionally let regulation enforcement assist conduct infrastructure inspections, and assist first responders with their drones.

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Right here’s the brand new restriction on weaponization:

Sec. 18 Use of weapons. A regulation enforcement company working a drone below this Act is prohibited from equipping or utilizing on a drone any firearm, weaponized laser, kinetic influence projectile, chemical agent or irritant, or another deadly or non-lethal weapon.

Legislation enforcement additionally nonetheless need to destroy data their drones gather inside 30 days, except it’s related to an investigation, however there are new exceptions if the info is “used solely for coaching functions,” or solely comprises metadata. Cops are additionally now prohibited from promoting any data their drones gather.

Plenty of states have banned weaponized drones in some kind or one other: the Nationwide Convention of State Legislators retains this handy list of drone laws enacted throughout every state — and as of 2017, Maine, Nevada, North Carolina, Oregon, Vermont, Virginia and Wisconsin had all barred police from utilizing armed drones, according to CBS News. Florida banned it later that yr. Ohio is considering a ban as properly.

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