In Maine, Can You be Charged with Invasion of Privacy with a Drone?
Sometimes drones can be super helpful.
In recent years, because I tend to lurk for no real reason on real estate pages, drones have been extremely useful in getting awesome aerial shots of a property. And, who hasn't seen some crazy drone footage of some kind or other, that was absolutely mind-blowing. Maybe footage of fireworks on the 4th, or flying near-ish to a bird.
Some of these things can be amazing. Other times though, the line between cool and outright crappy, becomes a bit blurred. Maybe even wildly apparent. But in some Maine neighborhoods, people are almost scared of the drones that they've been seeing. Or maybe they're scared of what the drones are seeing.
People are reporting that drones are hovering right outside their windows.
In a thread on the Bangor Area Scanner page, more than a few people reported seeing a drone flying right up to their windows in Hampden. Obviously, the home owners were not the least bit pleased and immediately reported it to local police. Deeper in the thread, other people have talked about having similar things happening to them.
The real question is, is it just a nosy neighbor, or is it possibly a criminal scoping out your home from the safety of a semi-remote location unknown to you. This is what seems to have people freaking out. Not to mention, these drones are potentially filming kids, which will make anyone's blood boil.
So where does actual Maine law fit into this?
There's a lot that pretty vague about laws specific to drones. It seems the only real regulations come in relation to proximity to military bases and airports. But there is the matter of Maine's invasion of privacy laws. Those pretty much put a stop to the idea that you can just do whatever, wherever, with your drone.
A person is guilty of violation of privacy if, except in the execution of a public duty or as authorized by law, that person intentionally:A. Commits a civil trespass on property with the intent to overhear or observe any person in a private place;...Installs or uses outside a private place without the consent of the person or persons entitled to privacy therein any device for observing, photographing, hearing, recording, amplifying or broadcasting images or sounds originating in that place that would not ordinarily be visible, audible or comprehensible outside that place;
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