Cops put more eyes in sky

Newly disclosed records show the RCMP has assembled a fleet of more than 200 flying drones — eyes in the sky that officers use for everything from accident-scene investigation to protecting VIP visitors.

The compact airborne devices are equipped with tools including video cameras and thermal-image detectors.

An RCMP privacy assessment of the technology says the force is committed to protecting any personal information the drones collect and that officers strive to comply with federal laws.

But one privacy expert notes the assessment, recently released under the Access to Information Act, was drafted in 2017 — seven years after the Mounties began using drones.

Micheal Vonn of the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association says the assessment also provides few details about the technical capabilities of the cameras attached to the drones.

She says there are legitimate policing uses for drones but also potentially invasive ones, such as taking photos at public events so they can be electronically run against images in databases.

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