You’re Clear to Track Cheating Spouse with GPS

Posted July 8, 2011 in Your Family & The Law by Arthur Buono

In New Jersey anyway. A court there has approved a wife’s use of GPS to track her cheatin’ husband. This was a first-of-its-kind case in the state. Get ready for more of this, from every direction, like hackers, online trackers, law enforcement and even tabloid newspapers.*

  • OK for private eye to track you with GPS device
  • Invasion of privacy, intrusion are torts in some states
  • Privacy erodes in some spaces while government looks to secure it in others
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Continuous, Detailed Tracking No Harm to Privacy?


To be specific, the court ruled this tracking was not an invasion of privacy. The decision came in a case against the private investigator who tracked the husband. The wife actually placed the device in the couple’s car.

If you’ve been following along, you’ll know federal courts have gone both ways on whether cops can use GPS devices without a warrant to track suspects. In calling this type of tracking a search, federal Judge Douglas Ginsburg said of tracking the suspect’s movements through public places, the duration, intensity and detail violated his privacy expectations even in public.

Your privacy may be protected not just from the police, but from all outsiders. GPS tracking intrudes on your right to be left alone. Not every state recognizes this right though. Even then, how much privacy can you expect from your wife in a vehicle you share with her? Privacy violations can be tough to prove.

While we don’t exactly feel private in public, we do expect some anonymity in our comings and goings. We don’t expect to be under constant surveillance. We don’t expect Google or Facebook to automatically put a name and possibly much more information to our faces for anyone to learn. This type of connect-the-dots exposure is already happening online, and the FTC and privacy advocates are working on "do not track" systems to let you opt out. Now, if that’s something we’d cherish in our virtual wanderings, wouldn’t it be just as well in our real ones too?

*British Tabloid Hacked Missing Girl’s Voice Mail

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Divorce Apps "Cost & Prep" – are you ready to break the big news to your spouse? Maybe check all the hidden costs first. $.99
iLocate – Find a bail bondsman on the go. $.99

*Please note that these apps are for informational purposes only, and neither LexisNexis nor endorses these apps or accepts liability for their use.

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