“Honey, pull over and ask for directions. We are going in circles” – Wife
“I know exactly where we are … we are NOT lost.” – Husband
Most married couples have experienced, or feared, this very scenario: driving aimlessly to a destination with no hope of arriving on time. Personalized GPS systems, however, now use satellites to direct us to our favorite restaurants and vacation destinations. Given these advancements, getting lost may soon be a thing of the past.
As GPS’ evolve, their uses do as well. They are used by golfers to measure the distance to the hole and are installed on many smartphones so we may “check in” at our favorite locations. However, people are finding new and innovative uses for this technology as well.
Smartphones are now even playing a role in the legal system. A New Jersey appellate court ruled it was legal for a woman and her private investigator to track her husband’s whereabouts using a personal GPS and was not a privacy violation.
According to CBS New York, a woman installed tracking technology in the family car to know her husband’s location. The husband was the primary driver of the vehicle and on several occasions was found leaving a driveway with another woman.
The wife used this evidence against him in the divorce proceedings, and as a result he pursued a legal claim against the private investigator.
After an appeal of the lower court’s decision, the appellate court ruled in favor of the private investigator. The court’s opinion stated that because his wife had part ownership of the vehicle, and because the GPS only tracked his movement on public streets, that the cheating husband had no expectation of privacy. Had the tracking device placed the husband on land out of the public view or on private property, then the ruling might have been different.
Technology is quickly changing the ways in which relationships begin and end. Many people meet online through online dating services, and evidence found on social networking sites has been introduced in many instances including division of marital property, custody hearings and general divorce proceedings.
Courts are struggling to keep pace with technological advancements, particularly because our Founding Fathers could never have imagined Facebook or global positioning devices. For questions regarding the use of tracking or other technology in a potential divorce or a family law issue, contact an experienced family law attorney immediately.