New Ohio bill would outlaw secret electronic tracking
HB 672 is a result of a 3News Investigates report, and would prohibit secret tracking with devices like Apple AirTags.
COLUMBUS, Ohio — A new bill introduced in the Ohio House would prohibit electronic tracking without a person’s consent.
It comes after a 3News Investigates report on the surging use of devices like Apple AirTags by stalkers, which often goes unchecked by Ohio laws.
3News Investigates uncovered loopholes in Ohio law that would allow stalkers to secretly track someone — potentially without penalty — if there has been no prior pattern of stalking behavior or domestic violence.
A 3News Investigates analysis found at least 19 states with specific laws against electronic tracking, but not Ohio.
RELATED: 3News Investigates: AirTag use by stalkers unchecked by Ohio laws
3News made the decision to actively advocate for bipartisan legislation to ensure some protection from unwanted monitoring or tracking. We lobbied local legislators from both chambers of the Ohio Statehouse, and received enthusiastic support from Democrats and Republicans on the issue.
As a result, primary sponsors Rep. Emilia Strong Sykes, (D) District 34, from Akron, and Rep. Tom Patton, (R) District 7, from Strongsville, announced on Friday, the introduction of HB672 in the Ohio House.
“This was an issue that I was not aware about, until you contacted us, and I’m so grateful that you were advocating for one of our constituents as she was very nervous, scared and confused about the fact that someone could perpetuate such an offensive act against her,” Sykes told 3News. “Now we are acting on her behalf, and as well as other who have experienced these types of situations, or who may be subjected to them in the future,” she said.
Patton also expressed his thanks to 3News for calling attention to the issue.
“I have had experience with one of my daughters who had been stalked back when this technology wasn’t there, so this kind of strikes close to home,” said Patton. “I’m sure lots of people back home have experienced similar concerns so we’re just grateful again to Channel 3 for giving us the opportunity to look into this bill and get it drafted and hopefully we’ll get this signed into law by the governor,” he said.
You can explore the bill in the document at the bottom of this story.
The bill would amend section 2903.211 of the Revised Code to “generally prohibit a person from knowingly installing a tracking device or application on another person’s property without the other person’s consent.”
This story is developing. Check back for more updates as details develop.
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