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Interesting TN Law Prohibiting Tracking Devices on Vehicles

Interesting TN Law Prohibiting Tracking Devices on Vehicles

I ran across an interesting TN statute the other day, Tenn. Code Ann. § 39-13-606, which states in pertinent part that:

It is an offense for a person to knowingly install, conceal or otherwise place an electronic tracking device in or on a motor vehicle without the consent of all owners of the vehicle for the purpose of monitoring or following an occupant or occupants of the vehicle.

In other words, you should probably think twice before purchasing a tracking device from one of the those “I Spy” type stores in an effort to keep tabs on, or gather evidence against, a spouse or partner.  Not only does violation of the statute constitute a Class C misdemeanor, but I also imagine that any illegally secured evidence would be subject to challenge in civil court as well.  In other words, that smoking gun evidence you think you’re getting from the tracking device might actually end up getting thrown out anyway.

Exceptions: There are exceptions to the statute for law enforcement, and also for parents or guardians who own a vehicle and are using the tracking device “solely for the purpose of monitoring the minor child of the parents or legal guardian when the child is an occupant of the vehicle….”

In reading the statute, an interesting question comes to mind.  Technology often outpaces the law, and it would be interesting to see how a court would treat things such as iPhone GPS apps (i.e. Find My iPhone) that aren’t necessarily installed on a vehicle but rather “follow” a person wherever they go, including into a car.

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