The NYPD plans to use drones to monitor outdoor parties and barbecues in New York City over Labor Day weekend, as a response to complaints about large gatherings. This decision, announced in the context of the J’ouvert festival, has sparked privacy concerns and criticism from civil liberties advocates, who argue that such surveillance might violate existing laws.
- Assistant NYPD Commissioner Kaz Daughtry stated that the drones will be deployed in response to both non-priority and priority calls related to large gatherings.
- The New York Civil Liberties Union raised concerns about the compliance of this drone usage with the POST Act, a law requiring the NYPD to disclose its surveillance tactics.
- The NYPD’s use of drones for policing has increased significantly, with 124 deployments in 2023 compared to only four times in 2022.
- Mayor Eric Adams supports the expansion of drone usage by police, citing their “endless” potential and referencing Israel’s use of the technology.
- Privacy advocates warn that current regulations are inadequate to address the potential intrusive nature of drone surveillance, posing risks to personal privacy.