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NJ Judge Rules GPS Tracking of Spouse Legal 241

Posted by Soulskill
from the liberty-and-prosperity-but-not-privacy dept.
Endoflow2010 writes "The use of a GPS device to track your whereabouts is not an invasion of privacy in New Jersey, a state appellate court panel ruled today. Based on the battle of a divorcing Gloucester County couple, the decision helps clarify the rules governing a technology increasingly employed by suspicious spouses — many of whom hire private investigators. No state law governs the use of GPS tracking devices, and the ruling, which does not affect police officers, is the first to address the issue, said Jimmie Mesis, past president of the New Jersey Licensed Private Investigators Association. 'We only use it when we are sure we have the appropriate conditions,' [private investigator Lisa Reed] said, noting that investigators make sure GPS devices are installed in cars on public streets and not private areas, and that the spouse must have some legal or financial connection to the car."
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NJ Judge Rules GPS Tracking of Spouse Legal

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  • Re:You know what? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by impaledsunset (1337701) on Friday July 08, 2011 @12:04PM (#36696784)

    Awful ruling, but I'd have less problem with my spouse tracking me than the police doing it. And I could divorce my spouse, while I can't do that with the police.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 08, 2011 @01:37PM (#36698014)

    I use a cellphone which I gave to our child during a divorce. The carrier tracking service by Verizon notifies me anytime they entered of left designated zones. I know when she leaves the city, the state, visits her boyfriend, and when she lies about her whereabouts. But I'm not actually tracking her. I am tracking my young toddler child. She had disappeared for weeks with our child which started the divorce process. A lawyer was able to force her back.

    Since then I bought my child a cellphone which is kept in the diaper bag for what I've called "emergencies" since she can't afford a cellphone. It is locked to only call myself or my parents and to only take incoming calls from the same. It cannot text. But it does have GPS which I pay $10 extra a month for with real time updates anytime I want. I usually don't look just because I don't want the battery to go dead because she doesn't charge it, and it could be gone for a week at a time.

    If the cell tower changes it checks GPS. If GPS crosses a zone then I get an email alert with a map picture of the location and a logged date and time. I don't hide the phone, but have given it out openly. I haven't told her it is running GPS, but the phone is for my child, not her. I have even made clear that if she leaves our child somwhere and goes elsewhere, then the phone is to stay with whoever is watching our child, not her.

    I won't let her go running off with my child in the middle of the night again. Too many parents lose their children to a parental abduction and never see them again for 20 years. She might ditch the cellphone and run. But I will know when and where my child was when it was last moved. Is this legal? My lawyer says that I have nothing to worry about.

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