New Jersey politicians are advancing changes to the state’s Peeping Tom laws, so if you fly a drone with a camera it is possible in the future that you might be charged as a peeping tom.
Per NJ101.5, fourteen legislators are sponsoring a “law would also cover drones that photograph or videotape someone when they should have a reasonable expectation of privacy. Under the proposed law, it would be a fourth degree offense for observing someone who has a reasonable expectation of privacy or hovering over a dwelling or school, and a more serious, third degree offense for photographing or recording someone without their permission, again when a reasonable person would expect not to be observed.”
An article on NJ Spotlight, “The bipartisan legislation would treat drones hovering over private property the same as a person physically entering the property without permission of the owner. It would also apply to using drones to photograph or videotape someone without consent when “a reasonable person would not expect to be observed.”
The bill is just the latest effort by lawmakers to update state regulations to address unmanned aircraft commonly called drones. Another bill advancing in the Assembly would prevent drone users from attaching firearms or other weapons to their devices. Legislation already signed into law made it illegal to use a drone while intoxicated or to spy on a correctional facility.”
I think that these misguided politicians have no understanding of what you can see via a drone camera. Here are two links to YouTube videos that show you what a drone operator really can see. The first is from England and should open your eyes to the truth, Drone Privacy – what can you really see with consumer camera drones and the second is a more up to date video showing what you can see looking through a window, Drone Spying on Girl in Shower – What Drones Can See?
As you can see camera drones have a hard time looking inside of a building through a window unless the person is very near the window. One thing I must point out is that most consumer drones are noisy and thus you as a person on the ground will know that it is there.
While I can see that some updating of regulations might be needed I think that what is being proposed is just going overboard. Most hobbyist fliers are not interested in looking into building or what you are doing on your property, so all that will happen if the legislature passes these laws is a lot of ‘Big Brother’ harassment of people trying to enjoy their hobby. And the so called peeping toms are not going to be stopped by any changes that might be made to prevent them from spying on people.
This much ado about nothing and the politicians need to spend their time on lowering the costs of living here in New Jersey instead.
That is my opinion- Jumpin Jersey Mike