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Implications of GPS Phone Trackers on Divorce cases


The evolution of technology continues to have implications for lawyers and clients in divorce and custody cases.

Smartphones store GPS coordinates and information about a user’s whereabouts which can allow someone to obtain very detailed information about where a user has been. Additionally that information is transmitted back to the companies to use for research.

As with any technology, there are good and bad uses for the technology.


1. Law enforcement uses the information to obtain criminal evidence and obtain convictions;
2. Phone users get to use apps for maps, restaurant reviews, etc.;
3. The information help companies learn more about you so they can market goods or services that you may be interested in.


1. Further erosion of your privacy and the chance for hackers to obtain information about you that can be misused. This can be used against you in many ways. Stalkers can hack into your phone and get information to discover where you live or what your daily patterns are so they can contact you. This has serious ramifications for victims of family violence. In divorce/custody cases, the information is a double edged sword depending on which side of the case you are on because lots of information can be obtained to determine what is really going on with someone. Did they violate a court order about drinking by going to Clubs? Did they really take the kids to school? Do they have a job?

There is an entire generation growing up in an era where there is basically no privacy and no concerns about losing privacy (“Facebook Generation”). The Facebook Generation is generally not concerned about privacy; however, we need to be aware of situations in which we may want to increase our level of privacy.

It is important to note that there are state and federal laws that govern hacking into cell phones, and one should always seek legal counsel before engaging in such activity.