A Washington state task force focused on drone regulations met for the first time today to discuss how government agencies can legally use unmanned aerial vehicles.
The group was organized after Wash. Gov. Jay Inslee vetoed a bill in April that would have regulated government use of surveillance drones amid concerns over public information disclosure.
The task force, made up of members from the ACLU, a newspaper, police chiefs and drone users, met on Monday to talk about a variety of issues, including privacy protection and determining which agencies should be given the right to use drones.
The legality of drone use has become a hot topic. Last week, The National Park Service instituted a temporary ban inside the 401 National Parks and Monuments in the U.S. while the FAA issued a clarification related to the use of unmanned aerial vehicles, stating that they only be used for hobby or recreational purposes. Privacy was not directly discussed in the press release, though FAA Administrator Michael Huerta noted that the agency has a “mandate to protect the American people in the air and on the ground, and the public expects us to carry out that mission.”
In Seattle last summer, then Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn pulled the plug on a controversial drone program that was to be instituted by the Seattle Police Department.
The task force has three more scheduled meetings and hopes to propose new regulations by early 2015.