Is it legal for a PI to plant a tracking device on my car or use my cell phone to track me?

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Is it legal for a PI to plant a tracking device on my car or use my cell phone to track me?

Working for an insurance company.

Asked on February 8, 2011 under Criminal Law, California

Answers:

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Aside from any episodes of CSI or Law and Order, sometimes tracking devices placed on motor vehicles may violate wiretapping or privacy laws especially if placed without your knowledge.  If this is law enforcement, it is an exception to the rule, usually.  If your employer is placing this on your vehicle, your employer has that choice to do so.  As to cell phones, same concept applies.  If this is an employer issued cell phone, do not think you have any privacy in the work place. There are a myriad of reasons for these tracking devices.  Remember the case of the college student who found a GPS tracking device placed there by the FBI.  As an outgrowth of that situation, a California court actually ruled that such agencies placing a device on the vehicle, even when the vehicle is on private property is actually allowed.  


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