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GPS Tracking Laws Pennsylvania

Is GPS Car Tracking Illegal In Pennsylvania – Essential Legal Insights

GPS tracking devices serve various purposes for businesses, law enforcement, and individuals in Pennsylvania. Imagine a Pittsburgh resident wanting to track his wife discreetly, suspecting infidelity or a Philadelphia business owner concerned that a company driver is using the vehicle without permission. Family law disputes, criminal cases, and contentious custody battles are all common reasons for researching wiretapping and electronic surveillance technologies. No matter your motivation to track the location of someone’s car in Pennsylvania, the crucial question remains: is it legal to place a GPS tracker on a vehicle in Pennsylvania? To shed light on Pennsylvania’s GPS tracking laws, our GPS experts created this article to clarify the legality of attaching a GPS tracker to someone’s vehicle in the state. Now, let’s go over some examples of legal and illegal uses of location tracking in Pennsylvania!

Is It Illegal To Put a GPS Tracker On Someone’s Car In Pennsylvania – Fact Sheet For 2023

Employment Law For GPS Fleet Tracking

One of the most frequently asked questions our security experts receive is if it is illegal to put a GPS tracker on someone’s car in Pennsylvania, and the answer: yes and no. For example, if you purchase a GPS tracker and place it inside a vehicle that is not yours then yes that is a misdemeanor in the great state of Pennsylvania. However, there are many shades of grey when it comes to placing a GPS tracker on someone’s vehicle in Pennsylvania. Here are some examples:

  • You can place a GPS tracking device inside or outside of a vehicle you own.
  • Businesses can put GPS trackers on any company vehicle in Pennsylvania. However, if the employee owns that vehicle then the employer must get consent from the employee.
  • It is legal to put a GPS tracker on a vehicle you do not own as long as you a) place the tracker on the outside of a car, and b) equip the GPS tracker under the car on public property.
  • You can not place a GPS tracking system inside a vehicle you do not own.
  • You can not place a GPS tracker under a car you do not own if that vehicle is parked on private property.

At this time, Pennsylvania’s Constitution has nothing written in it in regards to practice management of monitoring company-owned vehicles. However, the legitimate expectation (court opinions) is that if the business owns the vehicles they can legally use a mobile tracking device to monitor driving activity.

Related Article: GPS Tracking Laws By State

Pennsylvania Police Use Of GPS Trackers – Reasonable Suspicion

Before setting forth the practice of equipping a portable GPS device on a suspect’s vehicle, law enforcement must first obtain a search warrant from district courts or Superior Courts. Federal laws state that in order not to infringe upon a person’s Fourth Amendment rights, any form of wiretapping and electronic surveillance must first be green-lighted in the criminal justice system by showing reasonable expectation a crime is/has occurred.

GPS Tracking Employees Pennsylvania

Businesses thinking about using a GPS device to secretly track a car should contact an attorney in Pennsylvania (or in the area of intended use) to find out the latest news on GPS tracking laws in Pennsylvania. GPS tracking laws in Pennsylvania are constantly evolving to stay relevant with the enhancements in technology so it is important that anyone considering using a vehicle tracking device has the most current information on the appropriate legal use of surveillance products. Therefore, content within this article on GPS tracking laws in Pennsylvania should not be used as legal advice.

The reality is people and businesses in Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Allentown, Erie, Reading, Upper Darby, Bethlehem, Bensalem, Lancaster, Lower Merion, and cities and suburbs throughout Pennsylvania use vehicle tracking devices. Therefore, it is important to get the best legal information before investing in a personal GPS, especially if the user intends to use the device for potentially nefarious purposes.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Employers Legally Track Employees Using GPS In Pennsylvania?

Yes, employers in Pennsylvania can use GPS fleet tracking devices to monitor company-owned vehicles, as long as there is a legitimate business reason. However, employees must be informed about the tracking, and it must not infringe on their reasonable expectation of privacy (e.g., during non-work hours). Always consult an employment law expert for legal advice specific to your situation.

Is It Legal To Use A GPS Tracker To Catch A Cheating Partner In Pennsylvania?

Yes, and no. Basically, it depends on who owns the vehicle. If you co-own the vehicle or it’s registered under your name, using a GPS vehicle tracker might be permissible. However, installing an electronic tracking device on a vehicle owned solely by your partner could be illegal. Consult a family law attorney for guidance, as individual circumstances may vary.

Should I Hire A Private Investigator To Track My Spouse Instead Of Using A GPS Tracker In Pennsylvania?

Hiring a private investigator can be a better option, as they’re familiar with state laws and can help avoid legal pitfalls. In Pennsylvania, private investigators are licensed and regulated, ensuring that they follow the rules regarding electronic communication, searches and seizures, and other aspects of surveillance. Hiring a professional can save you from potential legal troubles.

Are There Any Restrictions On Using Portable GPS Tracking Systems In Pennsylvania?

Pennsylvania law allows the use of portable GPS tracking systems for personal use, such as navigation. However, using these devices to track others without consent or legal authority could lead to violations of privacy rights and potential criminal charges. It’s essential to understand the limits of using these devices to track others and consult a criminal lawyer for guidance if unsure.

What Are The Consequences Of Using A GPS tracker Illegally In Pennsylvania?

Using a real time GPS tracker illegally could result in criminal charges, as it may violate the Fourth Amendment, which protects against unreasonable searches and seizures. Evidence obtained through illegal tracking may be inadmissible in court, as motions to suppress may be filed. Furthermore, civil lawsuits for invasion of privacy or emotional distress could arise. Always seek legal advice before using a mobile tracking device in potentially questionable situations.

Related Article: 7 Best Real Time GPS Trackers For Cars 2023

Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. For accurate guidance on Pennsylvania’s GPS tracking laws and electronic devices, consult a qualified criminal lawyer or family law attorney. Remember, laws regarding electronic communication, searches and seizures, and tracking systems may vary by jurisdiction, and individual circumstances can impact the legality of using GPS devices. Always seek professional legal advice for your specific situation.

Matthew Henson
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