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New privacy policy for US drones

The Justice Department released guidelines that would explicitly bar the agency from using drones solely to monitor activity protected by the First Amendment, like peaceful protests.

The department issued five pages of policy guidelines dealing with privacy and civil liberties protections when conducting drone flights. It also outlined transparency requirements.

“Department personnel may never use UAS solely for the purpose of monitoring activities protected by the First Amendment or the lawful exercise of other rights secured by the Constitution and laws of the United States,” according to the policy guidance.

The Justice Department said it would adhere to constitutional principles that requires law enforcement to obtain a warrant when conducting surveillance or other activity in which people have a “reasonable expectation of privacy.” Law enforcement would also be barred from using drones to engage in discrimination.

The guidance builds off a presidential memorandum released in February that outlined general privacy and civil rights principles related to drones, and required all federal agencies to adopt their own procedures on how to collect and use information collected from domestic drones.

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Source: The Hill

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