Ohio prepares bill to criminalize AirTag tracking

Airtag (Image credit: Apple)

What you need to know

  • Ohio is preparing legislation to criminalize AirTag tracking.
  • New legislation would prohibit people from installing trackers on another person's property without consent.
  • It follows a surge in reports of the device being used to track people in the state because of loopholes in the law.

A new law in Ohio is being prepared to criminalize the use of devices like AirTags for tracking people without consent.

3News reports:

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.

An investigation uncovered loopholes in Ohio law "that would allow stalkers to secretly track someone" potentially "without penalty" if there was no prior pattern of stalking behavior or domestic violence. A new law now seeks to amend this and states:

Except as otherwise provided in division (B)(3) of this section, no person shall knowingly install a tracking device or tracking application on another person's property without the other person's consent.

The amendment to the law includes provisions to withdraw consent for tracking in the cases of instances such as divorce. Rep. Emilia Strong Sykes told the outlet "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. 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,"

While Apple's AirTag is a great accessory for keeping track of things like luggage and personal possessions and have been used to help recover lost and stolen items worth thousands of dollars in some cases, however a more nefarious stream of stories has also emerged as criminals use AirTags to stalk and follow victims, often sadly in the context of domestic disputes or relationships.

Apple announced increased measures to try and prevent AirTag stalking earlier this year.

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design. Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9