Massachusetts weighs limits on the use of drones by police

In this Feb. 13, 2014 file photo, members of the Box Elder County Sheriff's Office fly their search and rescue drone during a demonstration, in Brigham City, Utah. AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File

BOSTON (AP) — Massachusetts lawmakers are weighing regulations aimed at the use of unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones, by police and other governmental authorities.

The bill would prohibit the use of drones to “track, collect or maintain information about the political, religious or social views, associations or activities of any individual, group, association, organization, corporation,” or other entity unless the information relates to a criminal investigation.

The proposal would also ban drones from being equipped with weapons or using facial recognition and other biometric matching technology except to identify the subject of a warrant.

The bill would allow the use of drones to serve a warrant, aide in an investigation or assist in an emergency.


The Judiciary Committee plans to hear testimony on the bill at a public hearing Monday at the Statehouse.