The increasingly widespread use of GPS tracking devices has made them very popular also in the field of espionage and personal investigations. In fact, while until a few years ago the use of satellite tracking systems were almost exclusively reserved to government agencies and the military, the reduction of costs related to the accessibility of this technology has made them very popular for private or investigative use.
This dissemination, which can be seen as invasive of our privacy, in many cases it’s perfectly legal. A few days ago, the New Jersey court has in fact rejected the lawsuit filed by a husband to his wife, who in 2012 had spied on him.
The woman had placed a tiny GPS locator in the car dashboard of Mr. Kenneth Villanova, which for more than a month didn’t notice that his movements were followed step by step and recorded by his wife.
Once you discover the locator, Kenneth sued his wife. Unfortunately for him, the court has just ruled that the surveillance operation against him doesn’t violate any law, since the GPS device was used to reconstruct the movements in public places, so it’s not considered illegal.
In fact, there is no evidence that, in the 40 days before that Kenneth discovered the locator, the same has detected a shift of the person under observation in a private place.
The case is intended to make law in the U.S., and has been accepted in an extremely favorable by private investigators, who see given the opportunity to stalk the object of their research, as long as the GPS tracking doesn’t interfere with the privacy.
On the other hand, the defenders of privacy rights say that even if the device was used to follow Kenneth in public places, the citizen has the right to choose to don’t communicate to the other their position at any time, even if he’s in a visible place.
The debate rages between those who argue that there are cases, such as the protection of children, in which the right to privacy may be less, and who is convinced that it’s an absolute value at any time.