Will the Police Use Drones?

I am one who believes in my privacy and I worry that we tend to take it for granted. This means, more and more, we will be invaded by assumptions, misinformation and more that lead authorities to blame us for something we have not done in order to get results that make them look good.

6/17/20242 min read

It was inevitable that sooner or later the police would consider using drones to help them in enforcement. The story I read has led me to believe we are only steps away from this going mainstream.

A Wired article by Dhruv Mehrotra and Jesse Marx dated June 5, 2024 entitled: 'The Age of the Drone Police Is Here' tells us: "On a Wednesday afternoon in August, Daniel Posada and his girlfriend were screaming at each other at a bus stop when someone called 911.

From a rooftop a mile away, the Chula Vista Police Department started the rotors of a 13-pound drone.The machine lifted into the air with its high-resolution camera rolling. Equipped with thermal imaging capabilities and a powerful zoom lens, it transmitted a live feed of everything it captured to a sworn officer monitoring a screen at the precinct, to the department’s Real-Time Operations Center, and to the cell phone of the responding officer racing to the scene.

It flew northwest at 392 feet above the southwestern border town, a suburb of San Diego, passing near a preschool and a church, then near a financial services center used by Chula Vista’s immigrant communities to send money to their families.

En route to Posada, the drone—a Matrice 300 RTK—would cross the airspace of 23 blocks, potentially exposing thousands of Chula Vista residents to the gaze of law enforcement over an incident that had nothing to do with them."

Please read the article if you wish to know more. But that was enough for me since it makes my point. All those innocent people who have nothing to do with what they are investigating now have private details of their lives revealed and on video which can be reviewed later and investigated more thoroughly.

They can easily pick apart what they see, make assumptions and that could lead to arrests that were based on illegally gained evidence and not on facts. Now your privacy rights are being violated.

I have a theory that as soon as your image appears in their files, the authorities can view you at will and you become a person of interest just because you are in their files. You have not committed a crime and have no reason to be there. But that is how it begins, people being accused of things they did not do.

This story should be of interest to all of us. I particularly worry about the kids in any of those images since they are innocent and could also end up being watched and pursued all their lives in images. That is why those parents who love to put images of their kids on Facebook and other platforms need to think twice about what they are doing. The police have access and that is worrisome.