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Senate passes bill regulating police use of drones

Published: Thursday, March 6 2014 3:30 p.m. MST

A small Draganflyer X6 drone makes a test flight in Colorado.

Associated Press

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SALT LAKE CITY — The Senate unanimously passed a bill Thursday regulating how police use drones to spy on people.

SB167 prohibits Utah law enforcement from gathering information using an unmanned aerial vehicle without a search warrant. The bill also creates requirements for storage, retention and disposal of the data collected.

"This is not an anti-drone bill," said bill sponsor Sen. Howard Stephenson, R-Draper.

The legislation is needed to protect people's privacy, Stephenson said. As technology advances and becomes more available, the state needs to ensure people aren't the subject of unlawful searches and seizures.

The bill now goes to the House.

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