Governor Wolf Signs Bill to Combat ‘Peeping Tom’ Drones
October 12, 2018
Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf today signed House Bill 1346 into law, now Act 78 of 2018. The primary intent of the bill is to protect the public by increasing the criminal penalties for using unmanned aircraft, often referred to as drones, to spy on or conduct surveillance of someone in a private place.
“Signing this bill protects the personal privacy of Pennsylvanians,” said Governor Wolf. “With the rise in popularity of drones with video cameras, this is a commonsense step to prevent the use of drones to invade someone’s privacy. Drones should not be a tool to spy on someone in their yard or through their window.”
The legislation makes using an unmanned aircraft to intentionally or knowingly conduct surveillance of another person in a private place or to place another person in reasonable fear of bodily injury a summary offense. Using an unmanned aircraft to deliver, provide, transmit or furnish contraband to a person in a prison or in a mental hospital is a felony of the second degree.
There are exceptions for law enforcement officials, first responders and utility company employees and some government employees for using unmanned aircraft in their official duties.