Spy apps have become very popular for the last few years. Just install them on your target mobile, and you’ll get all the data from GPS location to message history in social networks. However, users are concerned whether it is legal to use them. Find out more about disclaimers, mobile spy app legal use and risks related to spy apps.
The general answer about legality is yes, however, there may be some restrictions which depend on users’ intent. Companies are fully entitled to develop, update and sell this software. On the other hand, customers should read the disclaimers and know about special aspects related to this matter.
What is the Disclaimer?
Software companies do not have any control over their customers once they purchased the SMS tracker product. That is why they make a disclaimer on their website. What does it mean? It means that companies refuse from legal responsibility if a user decides to break the law. The disclaimer may be obvious when you are asked to tick a box confirming that you are aware of the rules and agree with them. In the disclaimer companies alert the buyers that their actions may be illegal. Such disclaimers allow companies to advertise their products freely. Therefore, a buyer cannot sue a software provider for not knowing the rules. The buyer will be fully responsible for his or her actions if a monitored person files an action to the court.
Some people consider it shady advertising and unethical marketing: software companies tell about spying on spouses, but at the same time they use the disclaimer to keep them on the right side of the law.
Privacy laws depend on a country you live in. They protect people from invasion to their private life by other individuals or legal entities. For sure, implementation, restrictions and privacy rules are different. First of all, each individual should pay attention to the disclaimers. Consult your lawyer if you have any doubts. The main principles existing in most jurisdictions are as follows:
- You must be the owner of the target cell phone or have a legal authority to use it.
- It may sound irrational, but you must notify the adult user you are going to monitor about your spying actions.
How to Use Spy Apps Properly
First of all, it should be noted that spying on your spouse or partner is illegal. There may be two consequences: you may be sued in court (although the monitoring is pretty difficult to prove) and you won’t be able to use evidences against your spouse, ex or partner in court. If you do monitor them do not tell about that and find another way to resolve a conflict. Moral aspects are complicated in this case. On the one hand, it is a severe invasion to a private life. But on the other hand, an unhappy marriage may be terminated. Think carefully before taking any step.
As it was mentioned above, you must be the owner or bill payer of the phone you are going to monitor. All adult users must be notified of spying. The main ways to use the mobile spy app legal are as follows:
You are entitled to monitor your minor children without notification.
You are entitled to monitor your employees if you are the owner of the phones they use and you have dully notified them.
It is not obligatory to inform your kids about monitoring them, because you are a parent and have a parental control. On the other hand, all employees must be notified about company spying devices (phones, computers, email, etc.) and give their consent.
It should be noted, that monitoring other relatives is illegal, too (i.e. you brother/sister, aunt, nephew, etc.).
Mobile Spy App Legal Usage: Summing Up
Unfortunately, most people ignore the law and advertisers play on that. Moreover, spying is very difficult to prove. The spying software is hidden in the phone, and releasing the details of the purchaser and provider is complicated, too. However, as quantity of precedents has been growing, prosecution for illegal use will become easier in the near future. Spying on people has always been a minefield in legal terms.
Do not forget to notify your employees on spying and conclude a corresponding labor agreement. Otherwise, you won’t be able to use evidences against them in court. Try to use the software properly and do not break the law despite marketing headlines.