Hidden Cameras, Audio Bugs, and GPS Devices: What’s Legal in North Dakota? Could You Be at risk?
Living in North Dakota with its extreme winter weather means you understand the power of technology when it comes to keeping in touch with your friends and family. Smart phones, Alexa, Siri…the list seems to never end because of continuing technological development. And it’s certainly great to use technology to talk with people down the street, in a different city, in a different state, or even in a different country. We no longer need a giant road atlas to navigate our road trips. We use Google Maps or Mapquest.
Yet, with all the amazing things technology has done to make our lives easier, it is not always reliable. Sometimes there are flaws that cause problems. Just ask the people who’ve had their private conversations recording by Alexa and sent out without them knowing it until after it happened. Then, there are people who decide to misuse technology to spy on others. Hidden cameras devices, audio bugs, and GPS devices are the most commonly misused items. They are available for purchase by anyone. There are many of these items that are inexpensive and easy to hide. The big question is, though: is it legal in North Dakota?
What North Dakota Law Says about Hidden Camera and Audio Bug Use
North Dakota is a one-party consent state. In short, if, for example, two or more people are having a conversation, at least one of the individuals involved in the conversation must give consent to having the conversation monitored or recorded. Otherwise, recording or monitoring the conversation may be considered a felony under North Dakota law.
North Dakota law allows for home security systems that include video. So, it is legal for someone to set up a home security system in their own home. However, if someone else sets-up a recording system in a house that isn’t theirs or to whom they rent to another person, that is likely illegal under the law.
Additionally, it is illegal to place cameras, even home security cameras in a bathroom, or in an area where someone would have a reasonable expectation of privacy, such as a bedroom. It is also important to note that a hidden camera that transmits audio may also fall under the one-party consent law. If someone is recorded or monitored without permission of at least one party to the conversation, it may be illegal.
What North Dakota Law Says about Using GPS Devices
North Dakota law states that the use of a GPS device or any device that gives someone’s location that would cause a reasonable person to be frightened, intimidated, or harassed and which serves no legitimate purpose may be the commission of a crime.
Could You Be at Risk?
We know what you’re thinking, “No one would want to spy on me.” Unfortunately, it is more common than you might think. And it’s probably not something you want to believe could or would happen to you. If you own a business, corporate espionage is a very real concern. Competitors could be using your own employees, or even past employees, to learn about the secrets of your business. Your competitors could be monitoring you VOIP, phone calls, phone and web conferencing equipment, and even your computers.
Here are some of the most common reasons for someone might be using the aforementioned devices against you:
- You’re going through a divorce. Your former spouse may be trying to spy on you in the hopes of using the information against you. They may also be monitoring your cell phone, email, and computer. They do not necessarily need physical access to your devices to do this. They may or may not have intentions of using any of this against you in court. They may just be trying to ruin your life or blackmail you.
- You’re involved in a child custody dispute. Regardless of whether you were married, the other parent could be looking to monitor everything you do and say. Of course, they may do this and claim that it is for the welfare of the child. Yet, that’s often just an excuse. They may be looking to prove that you’re unfit, stop you from moving on, or to try and frighten you into giving up custody. If this happens to you, you’ll need to contact your family attorney to determine whether their actions violate North Dakota law, but you definitely want to get those devices removed.
- You’re involved in or getting out of a dangerous relationship. Intimate partner violence, jealous significant others, and people with control issues could use GPS devices, audio bugs, and hidden cameras to watch their former partners. This can be extremely dangerous and sometimes even deadly scenarios.
- Someone is stalking you. You may or may not have even met this person before. It does not reduce the severity of what they are capable of if they are willing to use hidden cameras, audio bugs, or GPS devices.
- You are involved in settling an insurance claim or you have a lawsuit for an injury of some kind. The other side could be looking to minimize what happened to you and attempt to take advantage of you. They may be tracking your every movement, videoing you, or even listening to your conversations.
If You Think You’re Being Spied On, Follow These Steps
- Don’t tell anyone about it. You do not know where any of the devices could be planted. Much less, how many there are or who is involved. Speaking about it with someone else could alert the person who is spying on you. It is important that you’re able to find the devices so that you may talk with the police and an attorney to find out what legal rights you may have as a victim.
- Do not change your routine too much. If there is a sudden change in routine 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 understand you never asked to be placed in this situation, you need the devices safely removed to find out who is behind it and find out if there is anything you can do from a legal perspective.
- Get to a safe location and all Spy Catchers at the 1-800-373-8726. Our team of professionals provide free estimates in North Dakota. We can sweep your home, business, and vehicle for hidden cameras, audio bugs, or GPS devices. If found, we safely remove them so that you can use the data to hopefully find out who is behind it and what you can do about it.