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Court says tracking spouse with a GPS is not invasion of privacy

Social networks like Facebook have been blamed for the rise in divorce or have at least provided evidence for some spouses to confirm the bad behavior of a husband or wife. Now, a court has ruled that using certain technology, specifically a GPS tracking device, to track a straying spouse is not an invasion of privacy.

A state appeals court judge gave support to a woman who, with the help of a private investigator, had secretly hidden a GPS in the glove box of her husband's car to keep track of his whereabouts. As she suspected, the husband was tracked to the home of another woman. The couple divorced not long after.

The husband said the hidden GPS was an invasion of his privacy and caused him significant mental and emotional trauma, but the court disagreed. According to the judge, driving somewhere in a car is different from something a person does in the privacy of their own home. Taking a car out on the road is an act in full public view.

GPS trackers, one judge noted, are not invasive because a person in a car doesn't expect to have the same amount of privacy as they would in a home or other private setting.

Although this story took place in New Jersey, it is one that many New Yorkers can likely relate to. Discovering that a spouse has been unfaithful can be very difficult. It can completely change the dynamics of a relationship, and for some people, it may be grounds for divorce. If you and your spouse have decided to divorce, seeking professional legal advice may be helpful.

Source:, "Judge rules use of GPS to track a cheating spouse is not an invasion of privacy," MaryAnn Spoto, 7 July 2011



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