monitoring a cheating spouse

Monitoring a cheating partner may be possible but it also could be illegal.

Heres an article that appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald back in March, 8, 2009.

The section of the article highlights in particular the need to obtain the consent of the person/s being tracked.  Too often people jump online and under suspicion their partner is cheating want to track their spouses mobile phone with a spy app.  Little do they realise that downloading a spy app onto their partners phone and not telling them for the purposes of monitoring their conversations, SMS, phone calls, recording them, tracking their spouse by GPS to locate them and listening into the conversations of another is illegal under Australian law.  Of course, in the moment of deep emotion someone will be wanting to get to the bottom of their suspicions whether they have a cheating partner and wanting answers if the partner is denying.  The last thing the person checking into these spy app software systems online will think of is whether they are acting lawfully.

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The article went onto say as follows:

Monitoring a cheating partner may be possible but it also could be illegal.

It sounds so easy for suspicious minds. Simply type in your partner’s mobile phone number and find out where he or she is at any time of the day or night.

A mobile phone monitoring service using GPS satellite technology is being promoted by private investigators as an easy way to catch out cheating spouses, but the Australian Consumers’ Association warns it is illegal.

Association spokesman Christopher Zinn said the “target” had to give their consent before being tracked.

He urged consumers to be wary of any private investigators offering mobile monitoring services because they did not accept liability.

“It seems to be an abuse of a technology which is rightly used in terms of tracking children or older people, not for cheating partners,” Mr Zinn told The Sunday Age.

“One would suggest that if you had suspicions about your partner, mobile phone tracking services like this might not be the first place to go.”

Under the Surveillance Devices Act, anyone caught using tracking devices or spy cameras without consent faces a maximum penalty of two years’ jail and a $26,429 fine.

An Australian company, Spousebusters, which claims to be “specialists in busting cheating spouses”, offers clients “mobile phone monitoring software” for Series 60 (Nokia, LG and Samsung), Blackberry and Windows mobile devices.

The Sydney-based company claims that after installing the software, “mobile phone monitoring secretly records events that happen on the phone and delivers this information to a web account, where you can view these reports from any internet-enabled computer or mobile phone.

“Mobile phone monitoring also allows you to listen to the surroundings of the target mobile, listen to the phone conversation and to know the actual location of the mobile phone.”

The company says that if clients have a mobile phone equipped with GPS, they can receive the GPS co-ordinates and view the target phone’s actual location via Google Maps.

Spousebusters spokesman Shane Johnson admitted there were both legal and illegal applications for the mobile tracking service.

“We always sell it with a disclaimer and always say to our customers, ‘Make sure the purpose that you intend to use it for is legal and above board because we remove ourselves from all responsibility’. Of course, people do monitor their partner’s phones to confirm if they are cheating, but in my experience nobody has been in trouble for it.

“It’s usually between a husband and wife and the person who’s caught cheating realises they’ve done the wrong thing and it doesn’t go any further.”

Another Sydney company, Impact Investigations, offers a mobile tracing service where clients can log on to a hidden site with their password and track the target’s mobile phone directly online.

Victoria’s Privacy Commissioner, Helen Versey, said she was concerned about the proliferation of tracking devices.

“One of the basic principles of privacy is that people should have the right to be able to move around anonymously,” Ms Versey said.

Mr Zinn said consumers also needed to be aware of hoax websites offering free mobile phone tracking services to catch cheating partners. “If you put in a phone number, what comes up is a map which leads you to a porn site.

“These are kind of fishing expeditions to get mobile phone numbers for spamming purposes. As is often the case in the mobile phone area, there are some cowboys out there who are using this so-called service as a lure.

“They might have been getting your mobile phone number for the purpose of reselling it.”

Telstra says more than 40,000 people have signed up to its mobile phone tracking service, Whereis Everyone, since it was launched last July but it claims it is only being used by customers wanting to keep in touch with family and friends.

Spokesman Ross Fielding said there were safeguards to ensure the service was not abused.

Source: link

Also in respect to Australian laws into telephone monitoring, recording and tracking someone without their knowledge – go here.  You need to disclose your intended purpose to the person being tracked and make them aware of what data you are collecting and have some mutual consent.  These software apps have a purpose in everyday activities including monitoring employees and family members with consent, tracking predators who may  be harassing your children, monitoring the elderly and family members who are out and away from the home etc.

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