Hidden Cameras, Audio Bugs, and GPS Devices in Idaho: What’s Legal?
You know how important it is to have video chat and phone calls in order to keep in touch or do business when you live and work in Idaho. Yet, with the rise in technology used to make our lives easier can also be used for nefarious purposes, including spying on another person. While it sounds like something straight out of a movie, hidden cameras, audio bugs, and GPS devices are regularly used to track a person. It happens more often than you would like to think. The real question is: Is it legal? While this is a frightening prospect, you should know what Idaho law says about these items.
Hidden Camera Laws in Idaho: What the Law Says
Idaho has very strict laws against voyeurism. In Idaho, voyeurism laws prohibit the installation of any devices capable of recording, storing, or transmitting images without the knowledge and consent of other parties in any place where a reasonable expectation of privacy exists. This includes hidden cameras in homes or hotel rooms. Violating this law can lead to criminal felony charges as well as civil charges.
If you are in a public area, such as a walking or driving down a city street, visiting a city park, eating on a restaurant patio, or hanging out at the river or lakes that aren’t on private property, it is most likely legal for someone else to take a photo or video of you. It may not be socially acceptable to do so, but it is most likely not illegal. There are exceptions to this law when it comes to public spaces in Idaho.
Audio Bugs and Conversations: What Idaho Law Says about Wiretapping
Idaho is what is known as a one-party consent state when it comes to recording and monitoring conversations. This simply means that in a conversation involving two or more people, at least one person must give consent to have the conversation recorded or monitored. This also applies to what one could consider a private space. Idaho law states that failure to get consent for monitoring or recording a conversation is eavesdropping. It can lead to a facing a felony as well as the potential of civil penalties. It’s important to note that while most people think of hidden devices inside of homes, cars, or placed on landlines to record conversations, there are also apps available for most cell phones that will record all phone calls, share your text messages, and could even use your phone without your knowledge to know what you’re saying at any time. There are also key loggers that can record all of your actions on your computer or tablet. These apps do not require a lot of technical expertise. Often, the perpetrator may not even need to gain physical access to the device.
It’s also important to note that some hidden cameras record audio. As a result, the use of a hidden camera with audio may fall under both voyeurism and wiretapping laws.
Are GPS Devices for Surveillance Legal in Idaho?
Unwarranted use of a GPS device without the knowledge or consent of the person being monitored is illegal according to Idaho law. This may include using a GPS or other electronic means to pursue, surveil or to commit nonconsensual contact on more than one occasion without having a legitimate purpose.
Could Someone Be Spying on you Right Now?
Now that you know what is and isn’t legal in Idaho, it’s time for you to think about something that might make you very uncomfortable. Could someone be spying on you? The truth is, it’s highly possible. Hidden cameras, audio bugs, and GPS devices are inexpensive. Making something illegal to use without the consent of another party doesn’t stop those items from being sold or used. The most common scenarios in Idaho that cause someone to spy on you include:
- You own a business. It could be anything from a small business to a large, multi-million dollar corporation. If your business is getting clients, it could make others in the industry very nervous. Corporate espionage could include using a current or former employee to spy on your business, placing hidden cameras or audio bugs in your office or conference room. They may even employ apps to monitor your phone calls, VOIP calls, web conferences, and even video conferences. Webcams and microphones are not excluded from this type of espionage. Keyloggers could be used to record everything you or another key employee type. They may even be able to all of your text messages and emails, whether professional or personal in nature.
- You’re involved in a divorce or separation. Your spouse could be monitoring your every conversation or tracking your location through your cell phone, desktop, tablet, or laptop. They may be listening to every conversation, reading every text message, and seeing everything you look at when you’re online. They could be using this information in order to frighten or blackmail you. They could just be using this information in an attempt to ruin your reputation or even get you fired from your job.
- You are involved in a child custody dispute. Even if you are not married to the other parent, they may be attempting to record something you say or do to try and use it against it you in court. They may be looking to prove you are an unfit parent or just attempting to use the information they obtain as a way of blackmail you. Very much like the two previous scenarios, your land line, cell phone, VOIP, webcam, and online activity are all subject to this type of intrusion. The current apps on the market right now are not hard to deploy. Never think that any of your devices are totally safe unless you have them checked out by a professional.
- Being involved in settling an insurance claim or have a lawsuit for an injury of some kind. The opposing side could be looking to take advantage of you and minimize the situation. They could be tracking your every movement, videoing you, or even listening to your conversations.
- You have a jealous, possessive, or abusive significant other. GPS devices, wiretaps, and hidden cameras as well as apps for cellular devices and keyloggers for computers and tablets are used more and more in situations where someone feels the need to control or abuse their partner. These devices can create a dangerous situation for the victim.
The Steps You Should Take If You Think You Are Being Watched
If you live in Idaho and think that someone maybe spying on you, take these steps:
- Do not change your routine too much. If you do, the person who planted the device or devices could be alerted. They may remove the device or devices before they can be found. While we know you don’t want them there, you need them if you want to find out who is behind it so that you can explore your legal options with your lawyer.
- Don’t talk about it to anyone. You do not know which device or devices are being used and you do not know where they could be hidden. Speaking of it could alert the person who is spying on you. It is important that you’re able to find the devices so you can talk to police and maybe even a lawyer to find out what you can do.
- Get to a safe location, use a safe phone, and call Spy Catchers at 1–800-373-8726. We provide free estimates in Idaho. Our team of professionals can sweep your home, business, and vehicles to help you get back your peace of mind. We can also help you discover and remove hidden cameras, audio bugs, or GPS devices so that you can exercise your legal rights and reclaim your privacy.