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Lawmaker aims to stop nonconsensual tracking of Floridians

ORLANDO, Fla. — Florida could soon make it a felony to use a tracking device or application to keep an eye on someone’s location without their consent.

“There are some things out there that we saw that were happening and Floridians needed to be protected,” said Rep. Toby Overdorf from Palm City who filed HB 401.

He said it’s about protecting people from others with bad intentions.

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“It’s a bill designed to really go after those using electronics and electronic trackers particularly in a nefarious way,” said Overdorf.

He said Port St. Lucie Police reached out about the increasing number of cases of people meeting someone while out and then being tracked out to their homes. He said the problem is that police can’t do too much about it.

So that’s why he proposed the bill which would increase the penalty from a misdemeanor to a third-degree felony- punishable with a $5000 fine or up to 5 years in prison.

Read: ‘Extremely unsettling’: Consumer claims portable tracker found in car he just bought

Earlier this year 9 Investigates met Tim Noftsinger, who found an Airtag inside a car he bought in Orlando.

“As soon as I came in the house, I notices a notification on my phone, saying I had an unknown Airtag following me,” said Noftsinger.

He believes it’s trapped somewhere in the body of the car, but the problem is he doesn’t know exactly where, so he can’t remove it.

Read: Police name estranged husband as person of interest in Winter Springs woman’s disappearance

While he doesn’t think the previous owner is stalking him, he does find it concerning that someone can see everywhere he goes.

Overdorf tells us Human traffickers have also been taking advantage of this sort of technology.

He hopes the new bill would prevent anyone from using tracking devices or software maliciously.

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“This would also give us another tool in the tool chest to go after those traffickers in a way that then potentially gets more information, gets further up the chain and gets these people behind bars,” said Overdorf.

There are some exemptions in the bill, including law enforcement doing a criminal investigation, parents keeping track of their children and a few others.

To view the full bill, CLICK HERE.

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