Washington State House Cmte passes very reasonable drone privacy bill

The WA State House Technology & Economic Development Committee passed a reasonable drone privacy bill last week. Basically, you can’t fly a drone onto someone’s private property and record them without their consent. Obviously, such an intent is more easily implemented when you have houses with property lines rather than windowed apartment buildings, but still, it’s a good addition to the fledgling body of drone privacy law. There was clearly some thought and technical advice put into the bill, as evidenced by the definition of “active sensing device”: “including, but not limited to, cameras, thermal detectors, microphones, chemical detectors, radiation gauges, and wireless receivers in any frequency.” The bill’s definition of personal information (note, not PII) is similarly broad: “Any information that describes, locates, or indexes anything about a person including, but not limited to, his or her social security number, driver’s license number, agency-issued identification number, student identification number, real or personal property holdings derived from tax returns, and his or her education, financial transactions, medical history, ancestry, religion, political ideology, or criminal or employment record,” as well as of course image. Willful violation of the proposed law is a misdemeanor, and victims can sue for $5,000 or actual damages plus attorney’s fees.