If you’ve got a feeling you’re being watched, you might be right. “Privacy does not exist in 2012,” says marriage counselor Gerry Lane, as Steve Eder and Jennifer Valentino-Devries report for the Wall Street Journal. You don’t think of the word “surveillance” much except outside of spy movies, but with GPS-tracking devices and hidden-camera teddy bears sold cheap at retail, the idea of privacy in a marriage is becoming a thing of the past.
And, in some cases, spying has not only paved the way to divorce but has led to criminal charges.
The Wall Street Journal story describes a confused legal scene. Federal courts, quite simply, aren’t prepared to uniformly grapple with the changes in privacy brought about by the proliferation of spy gadgets and suspicious spouses eager to use them.
Recording your spouse is not illegal in some jurisdictions, while in others doing things like putting a camcorder in a bedside alarm clock, or putting a GPS-tracking device on a car, has landed some snoopers in hot water.
Some family law attorneys are going so far as to preemptively warn clients in divorce cases not to snoop on the soon-to-be ex-spouse – especially if said snooping involves hidden-cameras and computer bugs.