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NJ Judge Rules In Favor Of P.I. Surveillance Techniques

GPS Tracking System Did Not Violate Privacy

judgeThe debate regarding whether the use of GPS tracking system technology violates privacy rights is a topic that continues to be closely followed by everyone. This is because the use of GPS is growing at a rapid pace, as businesses everywhere use satellite technology for fleet tracking, police agencies use GPS trackers to conduct investigative work and consumers use monitoring devices for everything from teen tracking to spouse tracking. The reason why the debate continues to grab mainstream headlines is because of the differing opinions held by states on what is the appropriate use of vehicle monitoring devices. With some states requiring police to obtain a warrant before using a GPS monitoring solution to other states proclaiming that gathering driving activity history is not a violation of privacy at all, the application of satellite observation technology is ambiguous at best. Once again that debate is in the spotlight as a Gloucester County Judge in New Jersey recently ruled in favor of a private investigation firm for their practice of using a GPS monitoring system to acquire data on a suspected cheating spouse.

Private Investigator Is Sued

When Innovative Investigations, a private investigation firm based in New Jersey, was contacted by a client to find out whether or not her husband was cheating, they turned to one of the most reliable security products available, GPS. The investigators worked quickly to gather any evidence that suggested a marital affair was occurring, and after a short period of time using the vehicle tracking unit they were able to confirm that the husband was indeed involved with another woman.

Although it seems like that would be the end of the story, Kenneth Villanova, the cheating husband who also happened to be a law enforcement officer. filed a lawsuit against the private investigation company and his soon to be ex-wife. Villanova’s suit claimed that the use of the tracking device resulted in “substantial and permanent emotional distress”, according to court documents. After reviewing the case meticulously and combing over all of the details with precision, the judges ruled first that the use of a personal tracking system did not cause any serious psychological damage to the plaintiff because he never even made an attempt to seek out the assistance of a doctor to diagnose or evaluate his emotional distress. The ruling judges also explained that Villanova should not have had any expectation of privacy because the GPS was used to capture driving activity on public streets.

Ruling Proves To Be Strong Statement For Private Investigators

Richard Leonard, the private investigator who was named in the case, stated how happy he was with the ruling by the judges. However, he is not the only professional who was elated about the ruling. A representative for the New Jersey Licensed Private Investigators Association explained that GPS is no more of an invasion of privacy than red light cameras on public streets, security cameras at retail stores or keystroke logger devices used by businesses to evaluate employee productivity. People should not assume they have a right to privacy when conducting activity on public streets or in public places, and this ruling helps reinforce that important statement.

GPS Opinion

Is it okay for people to use real-time tracker systems or GPS devices such as the GPS Tracking Key, which are designed to monitor a potential cheater?

Was this cop who sued simply upset because he got busted cheating?

If his emotional distress level was so disturbed as he claims, shouldn’t he no longer be allowed to carry a firearm?

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