Is Mobile Spy Software Actually Legal?
Most people who first find out about this kind of technology immediately wonder if they can use it without breaking any laws. The answer to the question is spy software legal can be complicated. The short answer is yes, but there are limits.
This is part of my series of articles in the main Spy Phone Guide – it explains everything about cell phone spy software – be sure to have a look.
Companies can legally produce and sell this type of software to consumers but there may be problems depending on the user’s intent. First of all, pay no attention to the marketing ploys focusing on spying on spouses to catch them cheating. Headlines like this have been used to promote cell phone spy software in unethical ways. The truth is that it is totally against the law to secretly monitor your partner in this way.
Many companies use these advertising headlines to attract new customers. Carefully worded disclaimers clear them of any wrongdoing if the consumer uses the product to break any privacy laws.
Some of the reputable firms have finally abandoned these tactics and now focus on legitimate uses for their products. Which also happen to be much more useful ways to use the software!
What the Disclaimers Mean
Companies selling spy software for cell phones online must include a disclaimer on the website. The disclaimer may be difficult to find but it will be there somewhere. Some companies even force buyers to acknowledge they have read the disclaimer by checking a box when they place an order through the site.
By displaying a disclaimer alerting consumers their activity may be illegal; these companies can advertise their products online freely with no worries about repercussions. Even if they believe some buyers may use the software illegally, they can claim they offered ample warning. They put the responsibility squarely on to the buyer.
Exploring the Laws in Your Area
You are probably wondering what constitutes legal use. Unfortunately, there are many gray areas and circumstances differ depending on what country you live in. If you have any doubts that what you are doing may be illegal, you should study the privacy laws in your location and seek legal advice from a local professional.
These laws are in place to protect citizens from invasion of privacy by other individuals. Law enforcement agencies naturally have their own set of rules to worry about.
As long as you adhere to the main principles set forth in the disclaimer you are operating within your rights.
- The cell phone you monitor must be one that you own or one that is under your legal authority.
- If you are monitoring an adult user, you must disclose what you are doing to that individual.
How to Legally Use Spy Software
The concept of legal authority is one of those gray areas mentioned above. Did you buy the phone and do you pay the bills? The most important point is that you must notify an adult user that their mobile phone is being monitored. This puts an end to any ideas about spying on others – legally.
This leaves two main ways to use this product legally.
- You can monitor the phones used by your minor children without notification.
- You can monitor an employee’s phone as long as you own it and you disclose the activity.
There are no exceptions to these rules even though some people will push the limits and try to get away with illegal activity regardless of the consequences. Unfortunately, in my experience, most users simply ignore the legal restrictions and they can usually get away with it as the modern programs are difficult to detect.
If you do use spyware illegally you need to be aware that you cannot use the information you receive without incriminating yourself. So you couldn’t use this as evidence against someone in a court.
By far the most beneficial ways to use cell phone spy software are the legal ones. It is best to use this technology wisely and make sure you stay on the right side of the law.