minnesota bug sweep companyHidden Cameras, Audio Bugs, and GPS Trackers in Minnesota: What is Legal? Are You at Risk?

As technology continues to develop and improve, we are living in a time where it seems like we’re in a dystopian or spy novel. We can literally see, talk to, listen to, or track someone at any time. When we do this for ourselves, it is not an issue. In Minnesota, hidden cameras, audio bugs, and GPS trackers are used almost everyday against others without their knowledge or consent. Is this legal in Minnesota? Are you at risk?

Hidden Camera Laws in Minnesota

When it comes to hidden cameras, we are not referring to the use of home security system that you have installed order to keep your home safe. We are talking about hidden cameras used without your knowledge and consent to monitor, video, or record you.

Minnesota has laws in place to help citizens protect their privacy. Under Minnesota law, if someone installs or uses an unauthorized device in a place where someone is allowed an expectation of privacy, such as a personal residence, the person who hides the device could be breaking the law. Minnesota’s privacy law includes devices to observe, record, photograph, broadcast, or listen to information without the knowledge or consent of another person. Depending on what is on the video, it may be a violation of Minnesota’s revenge porn law if the video was shared or if it’s used to blackmail or extort someone in the video.

Audio Bugs and Eavesdropping Devices in Minnesota

Minnesota is a one-party consent state when it comes to monitoring or recording a conversation. There are exceptions to this law. What the one-party consent law means is that if there is a conversation involving two or more people that at least one of the people involved in the conversation must give consent before recording or monitoring. It does not matter if the conversation is recorded in a private space, such as a conference room or in a public area. It is illegal to install an audio bug for eavesdropping. This falls under the same law as installing hidden cameras in a home without their consent.

What Is Legal Concerning the Use of GPS Trackers in Minnesota?

According to Minnesota law, the use of a GPS device with the intent to harass, annoy, or alarm another individual is considered harassment by stalking. This may involve pursuit, surveillance, or nonconsensual contact on more than one occasion without a legitimate purpose.

Could Someone Be Spying on You?

It may not seem like something you would ever have to concern yourself with, but it happens in Minnesota far more than you think. Here are just some of the most common reasons for someone to spying on you:

  • You own or co-own a business. If you consider yourself to be a regular person who lives and runs a small business in Minnesota, you may not think that you’d be a likely target for this sort of illicit activity. Yet, it happens more often than you probably realize. Corporate espionage is a very real concern if you own a business of any size in Minnesota. Your competition even an employee (or former employee) could be using hidden cameras, audio bugs, GPS devices, or even keyloggers and other apps to learn everything about your business in an attempt to take away your competitive edge. They could be looking to run your business. There could be hidden devices in your conference rooms, offices, or working areas for your most important team members. Your web conferencing, phone conferencing computers, and cell phones are all subject to being monitored. Corporate vehicles, or even personal vehicles, could have hidden GPS devices or hidden cameras or audio bugs.
  • Divorce or separation. Certain types of surveillance may be performed against you and your soon-to-be-ex-spouse. You email, social media, cell phone, and your computer (including everything you do online) could all be monitored. Your web cam may be turning on to watch you without your knowledge. They could be attempting to use anything they find to threaten or blackmail you.
  • Child custody dispute. Even if you were never married, a child custody dispute within a contentious relationship could put you at risk. Many parents will do this and claim it is to ensure their child’s safety, but it does not mean it is legal. Or that they are doing it for pure motives.
  • You are in or you left a bad relationship. Intimate partner violence and tumultuous relationships are very serious issues that can lead to dangerous and deadly consequences. Technology is often used to stalk, harass, and continue to abuse victims and survivors. Technology has made it easier for abusers to maintain control over their victims.
  • You are being stalked. You may not know who is doing this or much less why they’re doing it.

What Your Next Steps Should Be If You Believe You Are Being Spied On

If you live in Minnesota and think someone could be spying on you, take these steps:

  1. Don’t change your routine too much. If you do, the person who installed a device or devices could be alerted. They may remove them before they can be found. While you certainly do not want them there, you need them if you want to find out who is responsible and if you want to talk with a lawyer about your potential legal rights as a victim.
  2. Do not talk about it with anyone. You do not know how many devices there are or where they could be hidden. You also don’t know who may be involved, particularly if you’re dealing with a family law issue or if you are being stalked or abused. Talking about it could alert the person who is spying on you. It is important that you’re able to find the device or devices so that you may turn them over to authorities and talk with a lawyer about your potential rights.
  3. Get to a safe location, use a safe phone, and call Spy Catchers at 1-800-373-8726. We provide free estimates in Minnesota. Our professionals can sweep your home, business, and vehicle to help you get your peace of mind.