Hidden Cameras, Audio Bugs, and GPS Devices in Oklahoma: Is Someone Spying on You?
Living in Oklahoma is often seen as living a slow, simple life. Even with the advancement in technology making our lives easier, the misuse of technology manages to affect Oklahomans. In today’s society, we cannot go more than a few days without hearing about another device being compromised, the unauthorized use of a hidden camera in public or in someone’s home, and the posting of someone’s private information for everyone to see (without that person’s permission).
Technology was not created to be detrimental to our lives. Yet it is often used for spying, harassment, blackmail, and stalking. Hidden cameras, audio bugs, and GPS devices are inexpensive and easy to install, hide, and access the information it records. It is a scary prospect. It sounds like the things that suspense movies and books are made from. So, what does Oklahoma law say about the use of these devices to monitor another person?
Hidden Camera Use in Oklahoma
Oklahoma law is very strict regarding the use of hidden cameras to monitor another person without a warrant. Known as the “Peeping Tom” law, this law absolutely prohibits the use of hidden cameras to secretly watch or spy on another person where the person has a reasonable expectation of privacy, such as a bathroom, bedroom, or dressing room. However, it’s legal to have a hidden security camera to monitor your own property, provided it’s not being used to purposefully look into the window of a neighbor.
Public places such as parks and restaurants are not given the same consideration of privacy unless the videoing is done for lewd or illegitimate purposes by the person using the camera. This also includes attempting to record private areas of a person without that person’s consent. While both of the aforementioned circumstances are considered misdemeanors by Oklahoma law, there are instances where the use of video cameras are felony offenses as well.
If the hidden camera also records audio, it can be a criminal and civil violation of the law due to the states one-party consent laws.
Eavesdropping with Audio Bugs Devices in Oklahoma
Oklahoma is considered a one-party consent state. This means that in a conversation consisting of two or more people, at least one person must give consent to record or monitor it. Audio bugs can be used on landlines, VOIPs, and even video or teleconferencing equipment.
With all the apps, and new technology available, it’s easier than ever for someone to spy on you. Smart phones, smart devices, and computers are not immune to these apps or devices, either. The scariest part is that you may never even know if this is happening to you until it’s too late.
Are GPS Devices for Surveillance Legal in Oklahoma?
Oklahoma law provides for specific reasons for the use of GPS devices to monitor someone. Please note that we are not referring to:
- Law enforcement using GPS devices after receiving a warrant from a judge;
- GPS monitoring devices used by the court to monitor an offender, such as a house arrest bracelet;
- GPS devices built-in to a vehicle for emergency services or built-in navigation;
- GPS devices installed by a car dealership for the purposes of monitoring the location of a vehicle that has yet to be paid off.
We are referring to the use of GPS devices without a warrant and without consent or knowledge of the person being monitored. According to Oklahoma law, the use of GPS devices with the intent to follow, harass, annoy, alarm, or stalk another individual makes the perpetrator guilty of stalking. This may involve pursuit, surveillance, or nonconsensual contact on more than one occasion.
Much like easy access to apps that can act as an audio bug, a cell phone could be infected with an app that allows someone else to always have access to your location. An old cell phone could also be hidden in a car and wired straight to a battery to act as a GPS device as well.
Could Someone Be Spying on You?
Most of the time, people just do not think anyone would have a desire to use a hidden camera, audio bug, or GPS device against them. It’s certainly a disturbing thought that you could be spied on and not know it. Yet, it happens on a regular basis. If you live in Oklahoma, the most common reasons for someone to be using these devices against you are:
- You are a business owner. It does not matter if you rent office space downtown, own a custom built business, or work from home, corporate espionage is a risk. It could involve recruiting your employees, deploying certain apps onto computers or hacking in to them, deploying audio bugs on your telephones or VOIPs, use keyloggers to monitor your emails and everything you do online even if you use a private browser, or deploy audio bug apps to attach to your conferencing software. They can also use webcams and microphones to hear what is happening.
- You are getting a divorce. If you’re getting a divorce or if you are separated, these devices could be used for a variety of reasons. Some of the most common reasons include attempting to scare you, stalk you, and blackmail you. They may be looking to try to use this information against you in court. They may also be monitoring your activity online, reading text and email messages, or listening in on your phone calls.
- You are a party to a child custody dispute. Even if you were never married to the other parent, they may still use these devices and apps to try and gather information on you. Much like in a divorce scenario, they may be doing it to try and blackmail you, stalk you, or threaten you. They may be looking to try to get information to argue that you’re unfit to be with your child. They may be monitoring your landline, smart phone, VOIP, emails, and online activity. They could also be using keyloggers to know everything you type. They may use an app on your phone to track you.
- You have a worker’s compensation or personal injury claim of some kind. Often, these devices and apps are used to minimize what happened to you so that they do not have to pay you fairly. They may be videoing you, tracking your every movement, or listening in on your conversations.
- You are involved in a bad relationship. If you are involved in an unhealthy relationship, hidden cameras, GPS devices, and audio bugs could be used to continue to contact you, to scare you, to stop you from leaving, to blackmail you, or even to track you down and hurt you.
Take These Steps If You Think Someone Is Spying on You
If you live in Oklahoma and think that someone may be spying on you, take these steps:
- Don’t change your routine too much unless you’re afraid for your physical safety. The person who planted the device or devices may become suspicious if you make too many changes to your routine. They may remove the device or devices before they can be found and hide them again later. While we know you certainly don’t want the devices near you, you need them if you want to find out who is behind it and to talk with a lawyer about your potential legal rights.
- Do not talk about it with anyone. You don’t know how many devices there are or where they’re hidden. Talking about it could cause the person who planted the device or devices to take them down and use them again later once they think you’re no longer concerned about being spied on. Again, you need the device(s) if you hope to find out if you have any legal options against the perpetrator.
- Get to a safe location, use a safe phone, and call Spy Catchers at 1–800-373-8726. We provide free estimates for sweeping and removing any devices found in Oklahoma homes or businesses. Our professionals can sweep your home, business, and vehicle to help you get back your peace of mind. Call now to start the process of protecting yourself and your privacy.