Mary Mara

Document Type



This paper will examine the current state of drone technology and its increasing prevalence in private and public settings. As police agencies seek to incorporate this new technology into their crime-fighting arsenal, serious Fourth Amendment privacy considerations arise. Although a national debate rages in this country about the impact of modern technology on privacy rights, Congress, the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA), and the Supreme Court have yet to weigh in on the Fourth Amendment implications of warrantless drone surveillance by law enforcement. Furthermore, while some states have attempted to step into the breach by passing legislation which limits the use of drone technology by law enforcement under certain circumstances, legal waters surrounding the use of this technology by police are murky at best. Simply put, the Fourth Amendment implications of drone use by law enforcement is woefully uncertain and this uncertainty gives privacy advocates, as well as police agencies who are eager to employ this new technology reason to be concerned