Paparazzi now using drones to hunt down and photograph stars

LOS ANGELES - The battle between celebrities and the paparazzi could be going airborne in a new way.

Show business photographers, known for doing anything to get the shot, are now eyeing an eye in the sky.

The paparazzi have a reputation of doing whatever it takes to get the shot on the ground - and now, in the air.

enevans1.jpg
Some paparazzi are using drones to take pictures of celebrities on their private property.
CBS News

What's the concern about paparazzi using drones?

"Well you have a situation where they're able to go anywhere," said Sean Burke.

Burke is director of the Paparazzi Reform Initiative and a former celebrity bodyguard. Last year, with the help of testimony from actresses Halle Berry and Jennifer Garner, he helped get a law on the books in California protecting children of celebrities from harassment by photographers.

Now, he says, the stakes are even higher.

"You have someone with a drone start photographing someone in their backyard, that's a privacy concern, and I think it's a privacy concern for all of us," Burke said.

enevans3.jpg
Actress Jennifer Garner testified about the harassment by photographers of celebrities' children.
CBS News

California law already protects areas on the ground where people have a reasonable expectation of privacy - like a backyard. Newly proposed legislation would expand that protection to the skies.

Recently, Miley Cyrus posted a video of a drone with a camera that she said was hovering about her home.

"It's kind of the like the wild West out there," said Eric Maloney.

Maloney is head of production at Drone Dudes, an aerial cinematography company in Los Angeles. He supports regulations on where drones can fly.

"You shouldn't be allowed to spy on people, to go onto their property, to invade their personal space, simply because you have this new technology," he said.

Burke says he seen situations where paparazzi are packed should to shoulder on the ground. Can he see that happening in the sky with drones?

"Yeah, absolutely," he said. "You're walking down Rodeo Drive here in Beverly Hills, and there's a pack of paparazzi. Why wouldn't there be 30 drones flying over them?"

The Federal Aviation Administration predicts at least 30,000 drones will share the skies in the next five years.

  • Carter Evans

Comments

CBSN Live

pop-out
Live Video

Follow Us

Watch CBSN Live

Watch CBS News anytime, anywhere with the new 24/7 digital news network. Stream CBSN live or on demand for FREE on your TV, computer, tablet, or smartphone.

On Twitter