Court: Using GPS to Track Cheating Spouse is Not Invasion of Privacy
Here’s news for people running around on their spouses, and you know who you are. A state appeals court in New Jersey has ruled that using GPS to track a cheating spouse is not an invasion of privacy. “Cheating” just got a lot more risky, in New Jersey at least.
The court ruled in the case of a man who sued the private investigator his suspicious wife hired to find out what he was doing, and who he was doing it with back in 2007.
When the suspected cheater managed to evade the PI, the PI recommended using a GPS tracking device. The wife bought it and hid it in her husband’s car.
Cutting to the chase, two weeks into the GPS tracking, the PI found the cheating husband’s car at the home of a woman who wasn’t his wife.
The husband initially sued his wife and the PI for invasion of privacy. He later dropped the privacy claim against his wife in the divorce settlement but pursued his suit against the PI.
He claimed the GPS device invaded his privacy and caused him ”substantial and permanent emotional distress.”
The appeals court judges ruled the man had no right to expect privacy because the GPS tracked his movements on public streets where his car was always in full public view. Simple as that.
This may be bad news for cheating spouses in New Jersey, but it’s good news for the private investigations industry. The owner of one large New Jersey detective agency says it finally clarifies the legality of using GPS in private investigations, and they’ll continue to use it when it will be helpful for a client.
It also sets a precedent that could be applied in similar cases in other states.
The ruling could also ripple over into the rent-a-car industry. Cheating spouses may start renting cars to carry on their affairs.