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Manning Provides Testimony on Bill to Prohibit Stalking with Electronic Tracking Devices

May 25, 2022
Nathan H. Manning News
Manning Provides Testimony on Bill to Prohibit Stalking with Electronic Tracking Devices
COLUMBUS—State Senator Nathan Manning (R-North Ridgeville), along with Nickie Antonio (D-Lakewood), provided sponsor testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee for a bill that would prevent a person from installing an electronic tracking device on another person's property without that other person's consent. Senate Bill 339 would close a loophole in Ohio law that has not kept up with new technology. Senate Bill 339 would establish a new statute making it clear that knowingly installing a tracking device or tracking application on another person's property without the other person's consent is prohibited. A violation would be a first degree misdemeanor that carries a maximum sentence of 180-days in jail and a maximum fine of $1000. The bill proves for a list of exception that include:
  • Law enforcement officers/agencies using devices as part of a criminal investigation.
  • Parents and guardians of a minor child.
  • Caregivers of an elderly person or disabled adult for the assurance of their well-being, requiring approval from the person’s treating physician.
  • A person acting in good faith on behalf of a business for a legitimate business purpose.
  • An owner or lessee of a motor vehicle who installs or directs the installation of a tracking device.
"Even as a lawyer and former city prosecutor, I had no idea that this method of stalking and secretly tracking another person’s every move wouldn’t be illegal," said Manning. “That's why we need to do something very quickly."

The idea for this legislation was brought to the Senate from Lynna Lai, an investigative reporter at WKYC (Channel 3, Cleveland), who investigated the use of devices, such as Apple’s AirTags, as a means to stalk someone, and also found loopholes in current law that could allow such activity.

"Using our broadcast & digital platforms to investigate and amplify critical issues that deserve attention is at the core foundation of our mission to this community," said Adam Miller, WKYC 3News Director of Content. "We are grateful for the support of our state’s lawmakers to take this matter seriously in hopes that no Ohioan should ever live in fear of secret tracking or stalking."