Have you noticed a lot of talk lately about people using cell phone spy software? It is definitely becoming popular and I wanted to clear up some questions around the legality of this software. Spy software on cell phones is indeed perfectly legal to sell and use in certain specific circumstances.
The problem lies in how it is used, by unscrupulous people. Advertisements don’t help – going for misleading headlines like spying on your Ex or catching your cheating spouse, to lure you in but add disclaimers and other legal jargon to protect the company from legal action. Thankfully things are changing and some of the better companies now focus on the legal uses for spy software. Today’s spy software focuses more on legal and legitimate ways to use the program, check out this website Acisni for examples of good legitimate spy software programs – and how to use it properly.
While the attitudes of some companies may have changed the disclaimers remain the same. The disclaimers are there because no matter how much these companies tell you to do the right thing there is someone willing to do the wrong thing. The company should not be at fault for people’s negligence, and they want to protect themselves from ending up in a legal situation. Their strategic disclaimers make sure that does not happen.
The legal situation is about privacy laws. There are individual privacy laws, government privacy laws and law enforcement privacy laws and all of them use a different set of rules. The law varies between countries, regions and cities so it is never straightforward. Individual privacy laws may not count as much as government and law enforcement privacy laws in the eyes of the court. People need to stick to the basic privacy laws so they will be safe from prosecution – if you follow carefully what is mentioned in the disclaimers you should be safe. There are certain conditions to keeping legal, they are as follows:
- You must own or have the legal rights to the cell phone you want to monitor. (You pay the bills)
- You must let the user of the cell phone know that the phone is being monitored if they are an adult
In other words the cell phone of interest must be owned by you or you must be the one to pay the cell phone bill. So when you purchase the other party’s cell phone you cannot monitor it without their knowledge. That’s not how the system works. This will backfire because the courts can argue that you bought the phone just to spy on them. That hurts your chances of winning. That is why using spy software on cell phones and having legal authority over the cell phone is a grey area. But the second privacy law of notifying them makes the situation much clearer.
The best way to use the cell phone without legal action is the following:
- Monitoring children’s cell phones under 18
- Monitoring work cell phones employees use. Companies can do this if they tell their employees the phone will be monitored. Have this discussion in a meeting and in writing, before allowing workers to use them.
There are no exceptions. If you do use spy software illegally any evidence you uncover cannot be used in court. It doesn’t matter if you catch them admitting or doing something that will get you off the hook; you can’t use it. Plus, you will most likely end up in the courts yourself for invasion of privacy. Stick to the legal ways to monitor and you will be safe and remember the penalties can be severe.
So is spy software legal? Yes, but it is the way you use it that will make it illegal. Think before you act.