April 30, 2024
Senator Lynn Boylan calls for urgent action to address tracking devices used by stalkers

Raising the matter with the Minister today, Lynn Boylan Sinn Féin EU candidate in Dublin expressed alarm at the lack of assurances from the Department of Justice on the threat of tracking devices.

Senator Boylan said:

“The lack of assurances from the minister was deeply concerning, particularly considering how easily available these devices are. In Britain, there has been a 317% rise in their use in stalking and domestic violence cases in the last five years.

“The best the minister could do was state tracking devices only “may” be captured by the Irish stalking legislation.

“It is also deeply concerning that discussions have not already taken place between the Department of Justice and the Department of Communications on tightening up regulation of these readily accessible devices.

“The impact of these devices is exemplified in the harrowing experience of Áine O’Neil. She received notifications on her phone that an AirTag was tracking her every movement – to work, to meet friends, to the supermarket.

“The emotional toll inflicted upon her led to her being forced to abandon her dreams of working as an actor and producer in LA due to incessant tracking and the inability to disable the tag.

“We urgently need assurances that tracking devices cannot be exploited for stalking purposes under Irish legislation.

“It is imperative that legislation is swiftly reviewed to ensure we can combat this insidious form of abuse.

“Minister McEntee’s commitment to raise this issue with Minister Ryan is welcome, yet it highlights the urgent need for greater awareness at the highest levels of government.”

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