Stockton Woman Worried About Privacy After Spotting Drones Hovering Above Backyard

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The rules and regulations that govern hobby drone use are still being ironed out, especially when it comes to privacy. Members of one Stockton neighborhood are learning that lesson the hard way.

The normal quiet on one Stockton street, in the Portola neighborhood, is being interrupted by the sound of a buzz from above -- hobby drones.

"How would you feel if you're in the backyard with your kids and some person is looking over your fence? So instead of the person, it's the drone,” said one woman who wished to remain anonymous.

That scenario played out Sunday night for the woman, as drones began to hover in her backyard where she and her two young children were.

"I pointed at them, and I said, 'I see you' and they both took off. And so then they kept kind of like playing with us, and they were like taunting us, like going over the house,” she said.

This is the second incident like this since December for this woman, the first of which she says a drone hovered, eye level, looking right through her children's bedroom window.

The woman says her fear comes from the fact that it may be a few kids’ prank, but it may be a sexual predator. She has no idea whose “eyes” are on her home.

"We have to be concerned, what are their motives?” asked Bob Margaron, the woman’s neighbor. She called Margaron, who says the drones flew away after he shined a flashlight at them.

Margaron says they called Stockton police, who filed a report, but said there wasn't much they could do.

The FAA regulates drone rules but specifically leaves "spying and privacy" for states to deal with.

Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed a bill that would’ve addressed personal privacy protection from drones in September.

Senate Bill 142, authored by state Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson, would have limited hobby drone’s altitude limit to no lower than 350 feet above private property, among other things.

"It's not the drone, it's the person behind the drone,” said Margaron, who added the drones themselves are normally not problematic in the hands of those who don’t abuse them.

Stockton police were unavailable Monday to comment.