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Pa. to punish stalkers using Bluetooth tracking

Pennsylvania took a step recently toward becoming the latest state to punish someone for using a Bluetooth-connected device to track someone without their permission.

The state House of Representatives voted 199-1 to approve legislation that would make using a tracking device to secretly track another person part of Pennsylvania’s laws against stalking. The crime would be punishable as a third-degree misdemeanor, or up to 90 days in jail.

The bill goes to the Senate, where a separate bill is pending that would make the crime a second-degree misdemeanor, or punishable by up to two years in jail.

Most states have a provision in state law that prohibits remote tracking, while others are adding it.

Bluetooth-controlled devices made by various tech giants or digital apps installed on a mobile phone can secretly track the movements of another person.

The bill’s passage comes a few weeks after a federal judge denied Apple’s motion to dismiss a class-action lawsuit contending that the tech giant hasn’t done enough to prevent stalkers from using its AirTag devices to track victims.

Apple’s $29 AirTags have become popular items.

But stalkers have also taken advantage of AirTags and similar tracking devices.

Contributed article