With all the latest advances in technology these days, especially in technologies involving GPS tracking, it is no surprise that the legal issues surrounding the use of the technology are also becoming even more and more complicated.

GPS trackers are readily available in different forms, sizes and even prices, where some offer companies go as far as offering free GPS tracking services but Just because the technology is cheap and readily available for purchase by anyone doesn’t mean that the use of that technology is without its own legal risk. Some of these tracking devices comes with built in functionality that could allow you intercept oral or electronic communications, and can be easily downloaded and installed in many smartphone as an app.

At this point, there are no Federal law set to specifically prohibit a private individual from using a GPS tracking devices. But, in a few states, the use of these tracking devices without first having a warrant is considered a crime. You can also get sued for criminal activities, such as stalking or harassment both under state and local law while you are using these devices.

GPS Tracking of Employees - Is It Legal?

Use of GPS tracking systems by employers over the past several years, has seen a dramatically increased employee accountability in the workplace. The availability of employer-issued phones that have GPS tracking system enabled as however raised a few questions. Employers are also to known to monitor the activities of their employees with the use of surveillance and voice recording of their conversations and attitude to work around the work place.

For businesses that are into providing transportation or delivery services, it is not surprising at all to find that such employers have installed GPS devices in most of, if not all the vehicles used by their employees. The use of such devices can benefit both the employer and the employee in situations of emergency caused by vehicle break down, it would be really easy to locate the failed vehicle even if it currently is in the middle of nowhere.

The Surveillance Devices Act of 1999

, was created primarily for controlling all surveillance and illegal recording of private conversations or activities by any individual or organization, however the law specifically allows setting up of secret surveillance that has been properly approved by the authorities e.g. police and related federal agencies. Therefore, if you planning to set up surveillance or a GPS system at your work place you need to ensure that all employees affected are aware of the systems and also know what kind of information would be collected.

Here's what all private citizens need to know about GPS tracking systems and the laws that govern them:

  • It's totally legal for you to use a GPS tracking device if:
  • You or your organization are the owners of the vehicle, mobile device or asset to be tracked
  • You own the asset that might have been stolen or taken without your permission
  • For the safety of Your children (under 18)
  • You are tracking the asset it could be a car, bike or even a truck for the sole purpose of legal repossession in the event of a default on a loan payment.

It’s illegal to use a GPS tracking device if:

  • You are not the owner of the said car and do not have a warrant or the legal right to track it
  • You are attempting to catch a cheating boyfriend or girlfriend.

Just as technology is constantly advancing, so is the law and it does so in every jurisdiction.

You can also consider purchasing one of those apps or other gadgets that can detect a GPS signal and tell you if you are being tracked or not.

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