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BCCLA wants updated laws for drones, following incident in Vancouver

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – Laws and regulations for drones need to be updated, according to a civil liberties group.

Micheal Vonn with the BC Civil Liberties Association says existing laws aren’t adequate for protecting peoples’ privacy.

“Citizens are exempt from privacy legislation if they’re taking photographs for personal, journalistic, or artistic purposes,” she says. “What we hadn’t contemplated, of course, when we put that together, was the idea that that cameras might be flying up the 37th storey.”

Vonn’s comments follow an incident this weekend, in which a person living in an Abbott Street apartment complained to police about how close a drone was hovering to his deck.

In fact, Vancouver Police say they’re getting more complaints in recent times over the flying craft. Sergeant Randy Fincham tells us the department has had 13 complaints overall, with 10 of those coming since May of this year.

“A number of those complaints revolve around privacy concerns, where the drones are being flown close to apartment buildings or close to windows, where presumably somebody could be seen inside that apartment or building in various states of undress,” he explains.

Fincham says people who violate peoples’ privacy with their drones could face criminal harassment or voyeurism charges.