For the last year, AirTag has been helping Apple users alike track their lost or stolen items. However, some have been using the tracking device for more nefarious purposes. A news station in Ohio has found a loophole in a law that allows tracking people with electronic trackers.
Back in February, 3News reported an incident involving an Akron woman whose car was tracked with an AirTag. It was the AirTag’s alarm that startled her and prompted her to seek help from the Akron police. After checking her car, police found an AirTag inside her car’s rear bumper – likely placed there from an ex-boyfriend.
The investigation led 3News to uncover that in Ohio, those with no prior pattern of stalking or domestic violence could potentially get away with AirTag stalking – without penalty. The station then formed an analysis and found that there are at least 19 states with laws against electronic tracking. Ohio isn’t one of them.
HB672 to outlaw tracking people
In order to change this, 3News has been advocating for bipartisan legislation to ensure protection against unwanted tracking. It lobbied local legislators from both chambers within the Ohio Statehouse and gained support from both Democrats and Republicans.
Due to this effort, two representatives have announced the introduction of a new bill, HB672 in the Ohio House. This would “generally prohibit a person from knowingly installing a tracking device or application on another person’s property without the other person’s consent.”
Pennsylvania is also working on the issue within its state, proposing legislation that would criminalize AirTag abuse.
Apple has also been working on improving its anti-stalking measures for AirTags. Through recent updates, the company relays a privacy warning for those setting up a new AirTag. Additionally, a new firmware update releases a sound when an unknown AirTag is among you so it’s easier to find.
You can read the full bill as the story continues to develop.
I’m glad that Ohio – as well as other states – are looking to take a step toward punishing those who abuse AirTag. Meant to track lost items, stalking people is absolutely not what the device is intended for. We’ve just started year two with AirTag – maybe by year three things will continue to improve. With all the negative press on the device (and plenty of positive), I hope we can get to a place where AirTags can become safer and stalking-proof. As a state where everyone seems to be from, this is one step in the right direction for the buckeyes.
More on AirTag:
- AirTag helps Australian photographer recover over $7000 worth of stolen gear
- Some iPhone users receiving ‘phantom’ AirTag privacy alerts, Apple shares temporary fix
- AirTag firmware update enhances unwanted tracking alert
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