IL updating stalker laws for high-tech devices

State laws don't forbid electronic tracking of others, as in when an estranged husband put a GPS unit on wife's car.

Stalkers are increasingly using high-tech devices to track their quarry - and states that haven't kept up with the technology find their hands tied to take criminal action. In Illinois, the Daily Herald offers this anecdote as proof of the problem:

During a nasty divorce, one woman found a tracking device that her husband put under her car to keep tabs on her whereabouts. She went to the police — only to find there was nothing they could do.
Stories like that have convinced Illinois Rep. Elaine Nekritz to introduce a measure to make it illegal to track someone's activities.
“It just didn’t seem right,” said Nekritz, a Northbrook Democrat, who was contacted by the woman’s attorney. “Especially in domestic violence situations, it could be really dangerous for someone to know where the victim is at all times.”

Among the technologies that can deprive a woman (or a man, but women are four times more likely to be stalking victims) of her rights to safety and privacy: caller ID, computer spyware, and GPS tracking devices.

“They’re able to know if she’s meeting with an attorney, if she’s fleeing the state, and still know where she is in real time,” said Southworth. “This brings stalking to a whole new level.”

The Illinois proposal next goes before the full House for consideration.


You have been successfully signed up. To sign up for more newsletters or to manage your account, visit the Newsletter Subscription Center.
See All
See All