60 Years Specializing in Matrimonial & Infidelity Investigations across the U.S. & Worldwide.





Is it Legal to Spy on Someone

The digital age has given us many comforts and conveniences. From email to social media to personal blogs, it’s easy to learn about what others are doing at a particular moment, where they plan to be over the weekend and how they handle different situations in their lives. Since it’s so easy to be connected, who would guess that there are actually lines you can cross, even when dealing with someone close to you?

Take the case of Leon Walker, a 33-year-old computer technician from Michigan. He was charged with a felony for reading his wife’s emails without her consent. Fortunately, all charges were dropped, but the fact that his actions were taken so seriously is scary. State and federal laws prohibit certain ways of spying on people, and because Walker had access to advanced software and tools, his spying was taken quite seriously.

To make matters more confusing is the fact that there is plenty of DIY spy equipment that can be purchased online. It’s not illegal to buy this equipment online, but there are strict federal and state laws that govern where, how and under which circumstances the equipment can be used. Those who are looking to spy on their mate could be in violation of the law. Penalties range from fines to jail time.

So what are the legal ways to spy on a cheating spouse?

  • Know when and where it’s okay. Following someone down a busy street is okay; peeking through the windows is not.
  • Know what you can and can’t do. It’s legal to take a photo of someone in a public place, but not of them in their home (if you’re standing outside). You can’t film someone in a public place, but you can film yourself and get the subject in the background.
  • Never trespass onto someone else’s property.
  • Don’t keep information about the subject on you.
  • If you choose to purchase spy software to install on your spouse’s cell phone, read the disclaimer. There are federal and state laws that apply for how you can use the software, and most go something like this: You can install the software on a phone that you own and have legal right over, and you must inform the user of the phone.

To protect yourself, your rights and your family, the best approach is to hire a Westchester NY private investigator. Rather than spending the money on software or equipment, use it to cover the cost of the investigative services and know that everything will be handled legally. This takes a lot of pressure off your shoulders, and you can use the information in court since it’s collected legally. This is very helpful in child custody and divorce cases.


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