- Dean Smith
Divorce Plagued by Spy Gadgets
Steve Eder and Jennifer Valentino-Devries from WSJ.com report that spy technology such as GPS trackers, hidden cameras, and spy software on computers and cell phones are causing serious problems for spouses plagued by divorce.
The Hormann family, as one of many examples, has experienced the downfalls of this technology. After 46-year-old Danny Lee Hormann started having suspicions that his wife, Michele Mathias, was not being faithful, he installed a GPS tracking device onto her car, put spy software on the family computer, as well as his wife’s cell phone.
The spying got so out of control that Mathias and her children rummaged through their garage for hidden cameras and held conversations outside of their home to avoid being recorded. “It wasn’t just invasion of my privacy,” says Michele. “It was an invasion of the privacy of everyone who ever texted me or anyone who was ever on my computer.”
These actions on behalf of Danny Hormann resulted in a 30 day prison term after being convicted of stalking. And these scenarios are becoming more and more prevalent as spy equipment is cheaper and more accessible in today’s world.
Problem is, according to Eder and Valentino-Devries, “not all courts agree on what constitutes a ‘reasonable expectation of privacy’ in a marriage.” These laws pertaining to privacy, specifically in divorce situations, vary from state to state. Some courts may allow the evidence collected from spying to fly in court, and in others, you could be thrown in jail if the information is used to harass or scare someone.
Tracking devices, in particular, tend to be lost in a gray area. Georgia State Representative, Kevin Levitas, tried to push legislation to forbid the use of tracking devices to determine a person’s location without their personal consent, but to no avail. Levitas states, “You know in your gut that that violates some reasonable expectation of privacy.”
Contact ICU Investigations for more information about spy software, GPS tracking, etc. It is better to be safe than sorry. Leave the dirty work to us. We can determine the laws in your specific state and offer alternatives to these devices that are safe, effective, and legal. Suspicious? Get Answers.