Sky Spies: Using Drones for Surveillance Investigations

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In this episode, we dive into the legalities and practicalities of using drones for surveillance investigations. We explore various state laws, with a focus on Florida, and discuss the limitations and exceptions related to aerial surveillance. Join us as we unravel the complexities and share insights on how private investigators navigate these regulations.
Key Points Covered:
  • Legalities of Drone Surveillance:
    • Is it legal to conduct surveillance on another person using a drone?
    • Most states have specific laws regarding the use of aerial devices for surveillance.
    • Florida serves as a notable example with its "Freedom from Unwarranted Surveillance Act" (Statute 934.50).
  • Florida's Drone Surveillance Laws:
    • Prohibit recording images of privately owned property or individuals with the intent to conduct surveillance.
    • Individuals have a reasonable expectation of privacy on their private property if it is not observable from the ground.
    • Lists exceptions, but these do not apply to investigative professions (e.g., private investigators, attorneys).
  • Implications for Private Investigators:
    • Using drones to gather intelligence not otherwise obtainable is typically not permissible.
    • Alternative methods of obtaining information are often better than using drones.
    • Drones create a trackable record of their activity (ADSB tracking).
  • Consequences of Illegal Drone Use:
    • Individuals and professionals must ensure surveillance activities are legal.
    • Illegal observation can result in liability for both the performer and the hirer.
    • This also applies to the use of GPS tracking devices.
  • Best Practices for Legal Surveillance:
    • Always confirm with the investigator that their methods comply with all relevant laws.
    • Ensure investigations are conducted within legal boundaries to avoid potential legal issues.
If you have questions or want to delve deeper into today's topics, visit at for additional resources. Until next time, stay insured and stay informed!
Sky Spies: Using Drones for Surveillance Investigations
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