Fourth Amendment Considerations in the Utilization of Drones by Law Enforcement


  • Samantha A. Maciel


The growth of electronic means of surveillance has presented the U.S. Supreme Court with new constitutional issues, particularly concerning an individual's right to privacy. Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), more commonly known as drones, are particularly susceptible to these concerns due to their ability to aerially record audio or videos, take photographs, or otherwise document their surroundings. Outside of commercial or personal use, governmental entities, such as local law enforcement, have begun utilizing drones for various purposes, including, amongst other things, border monitoring, crime-scene photography, and aerial surveillance.1