Florida Senate - 2015                       CS for CS for SB 766
       By the Committees on Appropriations; and Judiciary; and Senator
       576-03817-15                                           2015766c2
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to surveillance by a drone; amending
    3         s. 934.50, F.S.; defining terms; prohibiting a person,
    4         a state agency, or a political subdivision from using
    5         a drone to capture an image of privately owned real
    6         property or of the owner, tenant, occupant, invitee,
    7         or licensee of such property with the intent to
    8         conduct surveillance without his or her written
    9         consent if a reasonable expectation of privacy exists;
   10         specifying when a reasonable expectation of privacy
   11         may be presumed; authorizing the use of a drone by a
   12         person or entity engaged in a business or profession
   13         licensed by the state in certain circumstances;
   14         authorizing the use of a drone by an employee or
   15         contractor of a property appraiser for the purpose of
   16         assessing property for ad valorem taxation;
   17         authorizing the use of a drone by or on behalf of
   18         certain utilities for specified purposes; providing
   19         that an owner, tenant, occupant, invitee, or licensee
   20         may initiate a civil action for compensatory damages
   21         and may seek injunctive relief against a person, a
   22         state agency, or a political subdivision that violates
   23         the act; providing for construction; providing for the
   24         recovery of attorney fees and punitive damages;
   25         specifying that remedies provided by the act are
   26         cumulative to other remedies; providing an effective
   27         date.
   29  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   31         Section 1. Section 934.50, Florida Statutes, is amended to
   32  read:
   33         934.50 Searches and seizure using a drone.—
   34         (1) SHORT TITLE.—This act may be cited as the “Freedom from
   35  Unwarranted Surveillance Act.”
   36         (2) DEFINITIONS.—As used in this act, the term:
   37         (a) “Drone” means a powered, aerial vehicle that:
   38         1. Does not carry a human operator;
   39         2. Uses aerodynamic forces to provide vehicle lift;
   40         3. Can fly autonomously or be piloted remotely;
   41         4. Can be expendable or recoverable; and
   42         5. Can carry a lethal or nonlethal payload.
   43         (b)“Image” means a record of thermal, infrared,
   44  ultraviolet, visible light, or other electromagnetic waves;
   45  sound waves; odors; or other physical phenomena which captures
   46  conditions existing on or about real property or an individual
   47  located on that property.
   48         (c)“Imaging device” means a mechanical, digital, or
   49  electronic viewing device; still camera; camcorder; motion
   50  picture camera; or any other instrument, equipment, or format
   51  capable of recording, storing, or transmitting an image.
   52         (d)(b) “Law enforcement agency” means a lawfully
   53  established state or local public agency that is responsible for
   54  the prevention and detection of crime, local government code
   55  enforcement, and the enforcement of penal, traffic, regulatory,
   56  game, or controlled substance laws.
   57         (e) “Surveillance” means:
   58         1. With respect to an owner, tenant, occupant, invitee, or
   59  licensee of privately owned real property, the observation of
   60  such persons with sufficient visual clarity to be able to obtain
   61  information about their identity, habits, conduct, movements, or
   62  whereabouts; or
   63         2. With respect to privately owned real property, the
   64  observation of such property’s physical improvements with
   65  sufficient visual clarity to be able to determine unique
   66  identifying features or its occupancy by one or more persons.
   67         (3) PROHIBITED USE OF DRONES.—
   68         (a) A law enforcement agency may not use a drone to gather
   69  evidence or other information.
   70         (b) A person, a state agency, or a political subdivision as
   71  defined in s. 11.45 may not use a drone equipped with an imaging
   72  device to record an image of privately owned real property or of
   73  the owner, tenant, occupant, invitee, or licensee of such
   74  property with the intent to conduct surveillance on the
   75  individual or property captured in the image in violation of
   76  such person’s reasonable expectation of privacy without his or
   77  her written consent. For purposes of this section, a person is
   78  presumed to have a reasonable expectation of privacy on his or
   79  her privately owned real property if he or she is not observable
   80  by persons located at ground level in a place where they have a
   81  legal right to be, regardless of whether he or she is observable
   82  from the air with the use of a drone. This paragraph is not
   83  intended to limit or restrict the application of federal law to
   84  the use of drones.
   85         (4) EXCEPTIONS.—This section act does not prohibit the use
   86  of a drone:
   87         (a) To counter a high risk of a terrorist attack by a
   88  specific individual or organization if the United States
   89  Secretary of Homeland Security determines that credible
   90  intelligence indicates that there is such a risk.
   91         (b) If the law enforcement agency first obtains a search
   92  warrant signed by a judge authorizing the use of a drone.
   93         (c) If the law enforcement agency possesses reasonable
   94  suspicion that, under particular circumstances, swift action is
   95  needed to prevent imminent danger to life or serious damage to
   96  property, to forestall the imminent escape of a suspect or the
   97  destruction of evidence, or to achieve purposes including, but
   98  not limited to, facilitating the search for a missing person.
   99         (d) By a person or an entity engaged in a business or
  100  profession licensed by the state, or by an agent, employee, or
  101  contractor thereof, if the drone is used only to perform
  102  reasonable tasks within the scope of practice or activities
  103  permitted under such person’s or entity’s license. However, this
  104  exception does not apply to a profession in which the licensee’s
  105  authorized scope of practice includes obtaining information
  106  about the identity, habits, conduct, movements, whereabouts,
  107  affiliations, associations, transactions, reputation, or
  108  character of any society, person, or group of persons.
  109         (e) By an employee or a contractor of a property appraiser
  110  who uses a drone solely for the purpose of assessing property
  111  for ad valorem taxation.
  112         (f) To capture images by or for an electric, water, or
  113  natural gas utility:
  114         1. For operations and maintenance of utility facilities,
  115  including facilities used in the generation, transmission, or
  116  distribution of electricity, gas, or water, for the purpose of
  117  maintaining utility system reliability and integrity;
  118         2. For inspecting utility facilities, including pipelines,
  119  to determine construction, repair, maintenance, or replacement
  120  needs before, during, and after construction of such facilities;
  121         3. For assessing vegetation growth for the purpose of
  122  maintaining clearances on utility rights-of­way;
  123         4. For utility routing, siting, and permitting for the
  124  purpose of constructing utility facilities or providing utility
  125  service; or
  126         5. For conducting environmental monitoring, as provided by
  127  federal, state, or local law, rule, or permit.
  128         (5) REMEDIES FOR VIOLATION.—
  129         (a) An aggrieved party may initiate a civil action against
  130  a law enforcement agency to obtain all appropriate relief in
  131  order to prevent or remedy a violation of this section act.
  132         (b) The owner, tenant, occupant, invitee, or licensee of
  133  privately owned real property may initiate a civil action for
  134  compensatory damages for violations of this section and may seek
  135  injunctive relief to prevent future violations of this section
  136  against a person, state agency, or political subdivision that
  137  violates paragraph (3)(b). In such action, the prevailing party
  138  is entitled to recover reasonable attorney fees from the
  139  nonprevailing party based on the actual and reasonable time
  140  expended by his or her attorney billed at an appropriate hourly
  141  rate and, in cases in which the payment of such a fee is
  142  contingent on the outcome, without a multiplier, unless the
  143  action is tried to verdict, in which case a multiplier of up to
  144  twice the actual value of the time expended may be awarded in
  145  the discretion of the trial court.
  146         (c) Punitive damages for a violation of paragraph (3)(b)
  147  may be sought against a person subject to other requirements and
  148  limitations of law, including, but not limited to, part II of
  149  chapter 768 and case law.
  150         (d) The remedies provided for a violation of paragraph
  151  (3)(b) are cumulative to other existing remedies.
  152         (6) PROHIBITION ON USE OF EVIDENCE.—Evidence obtained or
  153  collected in violation of this act is not admissible as evidence
  154  in a criminal prosecution in any court of law in this state.
  155         Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2015.