Heymann & Fletcher

Advances in technology but not laws enable online stalking

In today's society, personal privacy has been diminished in the rush to embrace new technology. While many new gadgets have enhanced the ability of individuals to ensure the safety of loved ones, many of these tools have been used to engage in online stalking. Unfortunately, while technology continues to evolve, laws to protect victims from cyber-stalking have not kept pace. New Jersey residents who have been victims of stalking or other forms of unwanted behaviors may struggle with privacy issues. 

Those who provide devices or services designed to monitor individuals often market their products to parents or employers. Unfortunately, these tools can be used to track the whereabouts and movements of victims who are targets of online stalking. While these devices in and of themselves are legal and have legitimate uses, service providers may have little control when these tools are used for questionable purposes. Law enforcement is often unable to respond to complaints of stalking, as the laws have not been revised to adequately address this problem.

Airline passengers have adjusted to enhanced security that helps ensure that air travel is as safe as possible. However, though airport security has the authority to refuse to allow certain common items, it is not practical to deny the use of any potentially intrusive tool. When technology is misused, the only recourse for some is to increase security settings to prevent the intrusion of unauthorized persons. The responsibility of makers must also be addressed in order to lessen the risk that these tools can be misused.

While customers are often looking for applications to facilitate communication, these apps could conceivably incorporate optional privacy protections that permit users at risk of online stalking a renewed sense of security. Stalking victims often do not know what options are available to them to ensure their safety. New Jersey residents may find that an experienced attorney is an invaluable resource when seeking legal means to prevent further intrusion.

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