Despite Privacy Concerns, Americans Support Some Domestic Drone Use

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STATE – Unmanned drone aircraft, previously thought of as a tool for military surveillance, are going to be flying over America’s skies. A new Monmouth University Poll finds that an overwhelming majority of Americans support the use of drones in some circumstances, even though they have at least some privacy concerns.

While 80 percent are in favor of using drones to help with search and rescue missions, 67 percent support their use to help track down runaway criminals and 64 percent believe it’s ok to use drones to help control illegal immigration at America’s borders, 67 percent are opposed to the idea that drones could be used to issue speeding tickets.

“Americans clearly support using drone technology in special circumstances, but they are a bit leery of more routine use by local law enforcement agencies,” said Patrick Murray, director of the New Jersey-based Monmouth University Polling Institute.

Almost two-thirds of Americans are at least somewhat concerned about their privacy if U.S. law enforcement agencies were to use unmanned drones with surveillance cameras – 42 percent said they would be very concerned, 22 percent would be somewhat concerned, 16 percent would be just a little concerned and 15 percent would not be concerned at all.

The Monmouth University Poll was conducted by telephone with 1,708 adults from June 4 to 6. This sample has a margin of error of + 2.4 percent. The poll was conducted by the Monmouth University Polling Institute in West Long Branch.

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