For a year, AirTag has been helping Apple users track their lost or stolen items. However, some use the tracker for more nefarious purposes. An Ohio news station has found a loophole in a law that allows people to be tracked 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 alarm that startled her and prompted her to seek help from the Akron police. After checking her car, police found an AirTag inside the rear bumper of her car – likely placed there by an ex-boyfriend.
The investigation led 3News to discover that in Ohio, those who had no prior pattern of harassment or domestic violence could potentially get away with AirTag harassment – without penalty. The station then performed an analysis and found that there are at least 19 states with laws against electronic tracking. Ohio is not one of them.
HB672 to prohibit people tracking
To change this, 3News pleaded for bipartisan legislation to provide protection against unwanted tracking. He lobbied local lawmakers in both chambers at the Ohio Statehouse and won support from Democrats and Republicans.
Through this effort, two representatives announced the introduction of a new bill, HB672 at 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 misuse.
Apple has also been working on improving its anti-harassment measures for AirTags. Thanks to recent updates, the company is relaying a privacy warning for those setting up a new AirTag. Plus, a new firmware update plays a sound when an unknown AirTag is among you so it’s easier to find.
You can read the full invoice as the story continues to develop.
The 9to5Mac take
I’m glad Ohio – along with other states – is looking to take a step forward in punishing those who abuse AirTag. Intended 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 a lot of positive), hopefully we can get to a place where AirTags can become more secure and harassment-proof. As a state where everyone seems to bethis is a step in the right direction for the chestnut trees.
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