Should New Jersey Prohibit People From Following Others With A GPS?

Posted by Steven J. Kaplan, Esq. on September 30, 2014

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What do you think about the idea of people being allowed to spy on each other using GPS tracking devices or cell phone apps?

Many people find the idea troubling.

This week, a new bill was offered in the New Jersey Assembly that would make this behavior a crime.

In particular,

This bill would make it a crime of the fourth degree to use a tracking device to track the movements or location of another person without that person’ s consent...

...The bill defines “electronic tracking device” as any device used to track the location or movement of a person that reveals its location or movement by the transmission of electronic signals.

I was asked about this last week by Asbury Park Press reporter Bob Jordan. In an article appearing in the Sunday, September 27, 2014 edition of the Asbury Park Press, I said:

There would be exceptions, such as for parents who want to monitor children behind the wheel of a car, but the use of GPS devices for spying purposes has grown to a frequency where it's become "a common problem... to me, it's no different from wiretapping."

Currently GPS spying isn't specifically prohibited, unless it can be proven it violated a reasonable expectation of privacy or stalking laws.

What do you think about the need for a comprehensive law regarding the use of GPS devices in New Jersey?

 

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