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GPS Tracking Laws New York State

Can You Track A Car In NY? – GPS Tracking Laws New York State

Are you considering the use of a GPS tracker for personal or business reasons in New York State? While GPS devices offer a range of potential benefits, it’s essential to understand the guidelines and considerations surrounding their use. This article provides a general overview of GPS tracking practices in New York State to help you make informed decisions. In this article, we will explore the nuances of using tracking devices in the Empire State so you can track a vehicle while not breaking any privacy laws.

GPS trackers have long been a source of conflict between privacy advocates and law enforcement agencies. While police support covert tracking as a cost-effective way to gather evidence and keep officers out of danger, privacy advocates argue that it infringes on personal rights and freedoms. Despite the disagreement, GPS technology has been helpful in protecting victims of domestic violence.

Cheating Spouse GPS Tracker

Is It Illegal To Track Someone Without Their Knowledge In New York?

For business owners with company-owned vehicles, the answer is yes. Lower courts have already ruled that vehicle owners can legally use any form of Global Positioning System to monitor their cars. This is the reason many businesses can track employees without their knowledge or consent if the vehicles being used for work purposes are owned by the company This is also what appellate divisions ruled when it came to a spouse who wanted to find out if their husband or wife was cheating.

The gray area is if you use a hidden GPS tracker to monitor a vehicle you do not own. If you do not own the vehicle you cannot enter the automobile and hide the tracking system inside the car. However, people do not have a right to privacy in public so the gray area of the New York State laws is if a person equips a vehicle tracker on the outside of a car as long as it is not done on private property. This is what a hired private investigator does in order to avoid breaking the law.

If you enter a vehicle you do not own with the intention of tracking that person this would be an unlawful use of the technology. This is what happened to Jackie Wisniewski, a GPS stalking violent crimes victim, which resulted in New York passing Jackie’s Law.

Is GPS Tracking Illegal In NY?

GPS electronic devices that can be used to GPS track a vehicle are legal in the state of New York. However, buying a GPS tracker and using it lawfully are two different conversations. Using a vehicle tracking device to spy on someone’s vehicle, regardless of intent, is now a Class B misdemeanor. Police also have the option to move forward with prosecution even if the victim does not want to press charges. Those concerned about potentially using a car tracker unlawfully, planning to use a GPS for tracking employees, or GPS stalking should consult with an attorney before potentially violating someone’s fourth amendment rights. Let’s take a look at a variety of situations where you might consider using GPS tracking devices and discuss the legality of the application.

Tracking a Spouse’s Car. In New York, it is illegal for a private citizen to use a tracking device to track their spouse’s movements or location without their consent. This is considered stalking and is a criminal offense.

Tracking a Teen Driver. Parents are allowed to install GPS tracking devices in their child’s car to monitor their driving habits and ensure their safety. However, this must be done with the teen’s knowledge and consent.

Employer Tracking. Employers in New York can use GPS tracking devices to monitor their employees’ movements while on the job, as long as the device is installed on a company-owned vehicle. However, employees must be informed of the tracking device’s presence and its purpose.

Tracking Criminals with Electronic Monitoring. GPS tracking devices can be used to monitor the movements of criminals who are on parole or probation. This helps law enforcement officers ensure that the individual is complying with the conditions of their release.

Police Use of GPS Tracking Devices. Law enforcement officers in New York are allowed to use GPS tracking devices to track criminal suspects or vehicles in the course of an investigation. However, they must obtain a warrant or have a legitimate purpose for doing so.

Private Investigator Use. Private investigators in New York are allowed to use GPS devices to track a specific person’s movements, but only if they have a legitimate reason and obtain the necessary legal authorization.

Tracking Sex Offenders. Sex offenders in New York are required to register their whereabouts with the state. GPS tracking devices can be used to monitor their movements and ensure compliance with the law.

Cities In New York State Where People Legally Use GPS Devices

  • New York City
  • Rocester
  • Yonkers
  • Syracuse
  • Albany
  • New Rochelle
  • Buffalo

NY Senate Bill S4187C

NY Senate Bill S4187C is a piece of legislation that regulates the use of GPS tracking devices in New York. The bill prohibits private citizens from using a GPS device to track the movements or location of a specific person without their consent. The use of such devices is strictly limited to legitimate purposes, such as law enforcement investigations or monitoring the movements of sex offenders.

The bill defines a tracking device as any device that is capable of transmitting electronic signals that reveal its location or the location of another object. This includes portable GPS trackers and other electronic devices that can track the movements of a person or vehicle.

Violating the provisions of the bill can result in criminal charges, including stalking in the fourth degree. However, the bill does provide exceptions for certain authorized uses of tracking systems, such as in the case of electronic monitoring of criminals or monitoring the movements of employees while on the job.

Overall, NY Senate Bill S4187C is an important piece of legislation that protects the privacy of individuals in New York and ensures that the use of GPS tracking systems is limited to legitimate purposes, such as abuse prevention or law enforcement investigations.

New York Police – Positive Applications Of GPS Technology

The New York high court’s groundbreaking decision requires law enforcement agencies to obtain a search warrant before installing a GPS tracker. This additional step forces police to establish reasonable cause before using GPS tracking, eliminating potential privacy violations. While the decision may make it harder for police to conduct surveillance, GPS tracking remains a valuable law enforcement tool. The ruling has created oversight on the use of GPS tracking devices, ensuring the protection of 4th Amendment Constitutional rights. Here are some positive examples of the New York police agencies using electronic monitoring:

  • To track a suspect’s vehicle during an ongoing criminal investigation with a valid search warrant. Police can use GPS vehicle trackers to track the location of a suspect’s car during an investigation, as long as they have a valid search warrant or other legal authority to do so. This is a common practice in cases involving drug trafficking, white-collar crimes, and sex crimes.
  • To monitor the movements of a parolee or probationer as part of their court-mandated electronic monitoring. GPS tracking technology is often used to monitor the movements of parolees or probationers as part of their court-mandated electronic monitoring. This helps ensure that the individual is complying with the conditions of their release, such as staying away from certain locations or individuals.
  • To track a stolen vehicle with the owner’s consent. If a vehicle is stolen, the owner can give consent to the police to use a GPS vehicle tracker to track down the stolen vehicle’s location. This can help the police recover the stolen property and apprehend the thief.
  • To locate a missing person or vehicle in an emergency situation. In cases of missing persons or vehicles, police can use GPS tracking technology to locate them in an emergency situation. This can be particularly useful in cases involving victims of domestic violence.
  • To monitor the movements of a fleet of police vehicles or equipment for logistical or safety reasons. GPS tracking technology can be used to monitor the movements of a fleet of police vehicles or equipment for logistical or safety reasons. This helps ensure that police resources are being used effectively and that officers are operating safely while on duty.

GPS Tracking Laws New York State – FAQs

A tracking device, according to New York’s law, primarily refers to any instrument or equipment used to determine the location of people or objects. This includes a Global Positioning System (GPS), which functions through the transmission of electronic signals. These devices are pivotal for law enforcement in tracking vehicles or individuals involved in investigations.

No, it’s prohibited. New York’s law insists that the registered owner must grant consent before a tracking device is installed on their vehicle. Movement by the transmission of electronic signals from a GPS device, for instance, can’t occur without the vehicle owner’s approval. Any deviation from this could be a violation of New York’s stalking laws.

Yes, they can, but under specific conditions. Law enforcement agencies in New York can use the Global Positioning System (GPS) for electronic communication to track suspects. However, they must obtain a search warrant, thereby demonstrating a reasonable cause. It’s crucial to maintain transparency in the course of conduct to avoid privacy violations.

The law actively mitigates the crime of stalking by prohibiting the unauthorized use of tracking devices to determine the location of individuals. This means that using a device for movement tracking through the transmission of electronic signals without consent is illegal. New York’s stalking laws are put in place to protect personal privacy and prevent misconduct.

Related Content: How To Secretly Track A Vehicle

The information provided in this article is intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject matter. The content may not reflect the most current legal developments and is not guaranteed to be complete, correct, or up-to-date. Always seek the advice of a qualified attorney or other appropriate professional with any questions you may have regarding a legal issue, and never disregard professional legal advice or delay seeking it because of something you have read in this article. The author and publisher of this article disclaim any liability, loss, or risk incurred as a consequence, directly or indirectly, of the use and application of any of the contents of this article.


Fernando Gonzalez
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