Daniel Biss

Legislatures seek limits on phone-tracking technology

Law enforcement departments' powerful devices that mimic cell towers and track phone locations are raising privacy concerns and inspiring legislation to restrict how police can use the technology in criminal investigations.

Illinois is among states around the country trying to set rules for the suitcase-sized cell-site simulators, also known as Stingrays, which have the capability to capture data for hundreds or thousands of cellphones in a particular neighborhood — not just the cellphone police are after.

"It's a pretty unusual technology because it's highly powerful but not very targeted," said Sen. Daniel Biss, a suburban Chicago Democrat sponsoring...