Senator Jon Bramnick’s legislation that criminalizes the use of a tracking device or software to track someone without their consent was approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee.
“It’s shockingly easy to stalk someone and invade their privacy with cheap tracking devices and cell phone apps,” said Bramnick (R-21). “We’re saying it shouldn’t be legal to track someone without their consent. Our bill would protect people, including women, who are being tracked without their knowledge by jealous spouses, exes, stalkers, and criminals who want to harass them or do them harm.”
The use of small tracking devices to commit crimes is increasing around the country. In January of 2022, the New Jersey Regional Operations and Intelligence Center warned police that small tracking devices could be used to monitor law enforcement to help criminals evade or attack officers.
Police in Michigan also reported the use of Apple Air Tags in multiple car thefts, while women in several states have taken to social media to share their concerns and even file lawsuits against device manufacturers after finding tracking devices that were unknowingly placed in their belongings.
Currently, New Jersey law only regulates the use of tracking devices by employers.
Senator Bramnick’s bill, S-827, establishes a crime in the fourth degree punishable by a fine up to $10,000 and up to 18 months in prison for tracking someone without their consent. The bill also clarifies several lawful uses of tracking, including, but not limited to, its use by law enforcement agencies, parents or guardians who are monitoring the location of their minor child, and by a person consensually collecting location data as part of a lawful business practice.