Is GPS tracking legal to monitor a family member’s movements?

UPDATED: Sep 14, 2011

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Is GPS tracking legal to monitor a family member’s movements?

A GPS tracker has been on my car for over a year. Car is in mine and my soon-to-be ex-husband’s name. The tracker is registered in his father’s name and was monitored by his mother and sister for the purpose of tracking my comings and goings. After I found the first device I had enough and filed for divorce. Another tracker was used for another seven months. I was tracked over multiple state lines as I travel every so often for work. Is this legal and or a criminal offense?

Asked on September 14, 2011 under Family Law, Florida


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

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

This typeof question usually come sup when discussing the issue of using a GPS in tracking the whereabouts of a wayward spouse by another spouse. You know: having him followed to gain evidence of adultery.  In those instances it has been held that it is legal and not an invasion of privacy as long as the tracking was done on public streets and as long as  the spouse has some sort of financial or legal connection to the vehicle.  There of course also must not be a law making it illegal.  The factors I mentioned before are from a case in a state that has no laws on GPS tracking.  Now, your case is a but different.  It involves monitoring by someone other than a spouse.  I think that you should speak with an attorney on the matter.  I think here it could indeed be an invasion of privacy.  Good luck.

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