Is it illegal to install keylogger software on your own computer if you suspect your spouse is using the computer to communicate with a lover/potential lover?

 A friend of mine, still married to his wife, suspects she is using their home computer, which is registered to him, to arrange meetings for intimate activities. However, he is concerned about the legality of this type of software. In NY.

Asked on January 3, 2011 under Family Law, New York


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Generally speaking the use of keylogger software on a computer violates bother Federal Laws and State laws on the Constitutional basis of a right to privacy.  Even if he did indeed install it - which would be against the law - the evidence that he collected, if any, would not be admissible in his divorce action.  So although he may get some personal satisfaction from it it would not help him any in his case.  If they were not married and she was using his computer illegally then it would be fine to install it but then it would defeat the purpose for him, wouldn't it?  I would suggest that he seek consultation from an attorney in his area as soon as he can and discuss other options.  Good luck.

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