California Law Review Circuit
Margot E. Kaminski, Drone Federalism: Civilian Drones and the Things They Carry, 4 Calif. L. Rev. Cir. 57 (May 2013), http://www.californialawreview.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Drone-Federalism-Civilian-Drones-and-the-Things-They-Carry.pdf, available at .
Civilian drones are scheduled to be permitted in the national airspace as early as 2015. Many think Congress should establish the necessary nationwide regulations to govern both law enforcement and civilian drone use. That thinking, however, is wrong. This Essay suggests drone federalism instead: a state-based approach to privacy regulation that governs drone use by civilians, drawing on states’ experience regulating other forms of civilian-on-civilian surveillance. This approach will allow necessary experimentation in how to best balance privacy concerns against First Amendment rights in the imminent era of drone-use democratization. This Essay closes by providing some guidance to states as to the potential axes of drone-related privacy regulations.
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