Conoy Township is on the verge of becoming the first municipality in the state to ban the use of private drones that can spy on people from the air. The topic of using drones and the invasion of privacy is getting a lot of attention nationally, especially after the recent filibuster in the U.S. Senate over the issue. So should people be able to fly drones in air and take pictures of you without you knowing it?
Gina Mariani is the Chairwoman of the Conoy Township Board of Supervisors. And at its meeting this Thursday the board will discuss a new controversial addition to the township's nuisance ordinances which bans: "The operation of remote controlled or other non-tethered aircraft over property not owned by the operator and without the permission of the property owner." A violation could carry a $300 fine.
Gina Mariani, Conoy Township Chairwoman:
"I do agree with it. We just have to protect our citizens and if they want someone coming over their house and taking pictures they are more than welcome to allow the person to do it. I don't want them coming around my house taking pictures. It's nobody's business what I do in my backyard."
Critics say the township is overstepping its bounds because it doesn't own, and therefore can not regulate, the airspace. But Mariani says we do own our privacy and we should be able to protect ourselves.
"With the kids in school, this might not be a problem now, which it isn't. But in the future it's going to be a problem. So we need to nip this in the bud before it happens. So if we're the first township to do this in Pennsylvania to do this, good for us."
This ordinance would not apply to law-enforcement's use of drones for criminal investigations.