Getting Legal Advice On Using GPS Tracking Systems
There are a number of different reasons why a person would choose to invest in a GPS monitoring device to observe where a car goes throughout the day. Maybe a husband suspects his wife is having an affair with another man, maybe a tow truck company wants to validate driving activity of an employee they suspect is falsifying time sheets or maybe a private investigator wants to investigate a corporate fraud case. Regardless of the reasons for wanting to use GPS car monitoring technology, people should be aware that using any form of spy gadget comes with responsibility. That means that a person using a GPS needs to make certain that they are using such monitoring technologies inside the parameters of lawful use in a way that does not violate the rights of others.
Is GPS Tracking Legal?
The purchase of a GPS auto tracking device that can track a car is 100% legal. However, just because a product is legal doesn’t mean it can be used in any sort of fashion that the buyer chooses. Let’s compare GPS for example to the purchase of a video camera (even though smart phones have essentially crippled the video camera industry). A person can walk into most electronics stores in their city and purchase a video camera without any issue, but even though that product can offer a wide range of benefits it, like a GPS unit, can be used maliciously. For example, video cameras are legal but it’s not legal to place that video camera in the office bathroom. This is where it can be a little bit tricky when it comes to the application of GPS car tracking units.
GPS car tracking units are legal but the act of monitoring a vehicle has many shades of white, gray and black. For example, in many states a employer can equip auto tracking equipment on their company vehicles and not have to disclose that information to employees. Some states require that employees disclose this information. In some places it’s legal to place a car tracker on the outside of a vehicle but if a person places a GPS inside the cab of the vehicle that is illegal. Therefore, it is important to understand that laws are not concrete when it comes to GPS monitoring practices. In fact, what is legal in one place might be illegal in another. That’s simply the way many laws work, including laws related to GPS vehicle monitoring.
GPS Tracker Legal Issues
When it comes to getting sound legal advice regarding the use of GPS monitoring systems the first place a person should start is the city and state they plan on using the tracker systems. The first step would be to contact local police to see if they have any knowledge about personal or business application legalities. However, that information should also be reinforced by a attorney in the local area who understands criminal and business law. Those would be the two parties with the most knowledge about GPS vehicle monitoring laws in the region of intended use. Those wanting extra credit confirmation could even speak with a local private investigation company, as many PIs are aware of legal boundaries and what is considered acceptable with GPS.
It is important that people do the appropriate research before investing in car GPS systems so they do not cross the line where they themselves are conducting themselves in a unlawful fashion. Talking with police, local attorneys and private eyes before using any automotive tracking units is the best way to avoid doing something against the law.
This article is NOT legal advice! GPS vehicles monitoring systems should not be used to violate the rights of others. It is the responsibility of the user to learn what laws may apply in their area of intended use.