I have posted before about how text messages and other types of electronic information can be used against spouses in divorce cases, but this article discusses the potential downsides of such "Cyber Snooping."
The article details the probably more common types of snooping, such as spyware, and other software, that are installed in order to capture messages sent by spouses. It also discusses the type of spying that occurs because spouses know each others' passwords for email or other social media accounts.
Aside from the obvious temptation to engage in this sort of behavior in order to gather information as to what the spouse is doing, however, the article cautions against engaging in these tactics. As one divorce attorney states:
When I create an e-mail and I create a confidential e-mail, that is a violation of law to intercept that because I have an expectation of privacy. When I put stuff in a publicly accessible zone such as Facebook, I have no expectation. The law doesn't recognize an expectation of privacy in this.
The article recommends changing all passwords immediately during a divorce in order to protect against this sort of "snooping." It also recommends looking into companies that can check smartphones and laptops for any suspicious software that could be capturing information.
Perhaps most importantly though, is the recommendation to realize that rather than engaging in this sort of vigilante information collection, spouses should consult with their attorneys, who could file motions for that same information through the court, by means of discovery. If information is gathered illegally, such as through unauthorized email access, the court can rule to exclude the information from evidence, thus making the entire document, and its contents, inadmissible.
Just remember, anything you type into your computer, whether you intend it to be searchable or not, may be used against you, whether in divorce proceedings or other matters.
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