Tracking a person without consent may soon be illegal

A bill is moving through the Senate committees that would make it illegal to knowingly install a tracking device or application on another person’s property without their consent. As of now, anyone in Florida can legally track anyone without his or her consent or knowledge. A tracking device is defined as any device whose primary purpose is to reveal its location or movement by the transmission of electronic signals. Tracking application is defined as any software program whose primary purpose is to track or identify the location or movement of an individual. The Senate Criminal Justice Committee unanimously approved Senate Bill 282 on March 30. The bill needs to move through three more committees before it is presented to the Senate. The bill is currently on the Appropriations Subcommittee on Criminal and Civil Justice agenda. This bill would make tracking illegal, however, it allows tracking in four situations. The situations where tracking would be legal are: A law enforcement officer lawfully installs a tracking device or tracking application on another person’s property as part of a criminal investigation. A parent or legal guardian or a minor child installs a tracking device or application on the minor child’s property, as long as both parents give consent or one parent has sole custody. A caregiver of an elderly person or disabled adult, if the elderly person’s treating physician certifies that the installation of a tracking device or application is necessary to ensure the safety of the person. A person acting in good faith on behalf of a business entity for a legitimate business purpose. Senator Dorothy Hukill is the sponsor of the bill. If the Senate approves the bill, it would become effective on Oct. 1, 2015. A person who violates this would commit a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable by a $500 fine.