Surveillance Devices Law

Confluent Issues - Tracking Devices

Tracking Devices

Some jurisdictions have laws against the use of tracking devices, but not all. The common thread is that it is unlawful to deploy or make use of a tracking device without the consent of the person being tracked or the person in possession of the object being tracked.


In situations where there is no-one in lawful possession of an object – such as if a vehicle has been stolen – then the law should permit the use of a tracking device. However if a vehicle is lent, hired or sold to another person, then the new party has lawful possession and must be informed of the tracking device. If they proceed to use the vehicle without objection, then their consent is implied. On the other hand if they object then it must be removed or switched off, or its data must cease to be collected.


In different jurisdictions the law is different with respect to it covering other devices capable of giving a geographic location. In most applicable jurisdictions all devices having that capability are included. In Victoria, only devices having it as a primary function are included. Another common device that is – or may be – caught by the legislation is a mobile telephone. (Victorian readers need to examine further discussion on this in relation to the Victorian legislation).