SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (May 4, 2022) – Today, a Utah law that expands state limits on government drone surveillance went into effect. The legislation not only establishes important privacy protections at the state level; it will also help thwart the federal surveillance state.
Rep. Ryan Wilcox (R) introduced House Bill 259 (HB259) on Jan. 28. In 2014, Utah passed a law requiring police to get a warrant before conducting drone surveillance in most situations. HB259 clarifies that the law applies “to any imaging surveillance device, as defined in Section 77-23d-102 when used in conjunction with an unmanned aircraft system.” This includes “radar, sonar, infrared, or other remote sensing or detection technology.”
In effect, the enactment of HB259 clarifies that this type of technology cannot be used in conjunction with a drone without a warrant.