Nova Scotia’s RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) have decided to purchase five drones for police operations, at a total cost of CAN$165,000. This is not an unusual procurement, as RCMP detachments of several other Canadian provinces and territories have already put drones to use.
The drones must be able to vertically launch and land, endure temperatures of -25 Celsius, and hover within a meter’s range. These are realistic standards, according to Richard van der Put of SkySquirrels Technologies Inc., a company that sells drones.
While the RCMP is licensed under Transport Canada to use drones for matters of public safety such as accident investigations, the highly advanced nature of these drones means there are few restrictions in place to prevent law enforcement from intrusive tracking, especially in public areas.
According to McInnes Cooper lawyer and privacy expert David Fraser, the RCMP “already [films] with binoculars from one window to another.”
The CAN$10,000 infrared cameras would help police find missing persons in forests, but would also make it possible to scan entire neighborhoods to track marijuana grow-ops.
“When it comes to law enforcement using drones I think we need a much better discussion and understanding on what they propose to do with it,” said Fraser.
Source: The Chronicle Herald.