Hidden Cameras, Audio Bugs, and GPS Trackers: What’s Legal in Utah? Are You at Risk?
As technology continues to develop, we are living in a time where it seems like we are in a similar scenario to the George Orwell novel “1984.” We can literally see, talk, listen to, or track someone at any time. Of course, when we do these things for ourselves, it is not a problem. Yet, in Utah, hidden cameras, audio bugs, and GPS trackers are used against others without their knowledge. Is this legal? And are you at risk?
Hidden Camera Use in Utah
When we talk about hidden cameras, we are not talking about a home security system that you have to keep your home and your family safe. We’re talking about hidden cameras that may be used to watch you in your home or office without your knowledge or consent.
Utah has a law with a goal to help citizens protect their privacy. Under the law, if someone installs or uses an unauthorized device in a place where someone may have an expectation of privacy, they may be breaking the law. This includes using a device to observe, photograph, listen to, record, or broadcast the information. Using a hidden camera without another person’s knowledge may also violate Utah’s voyeurism act if the purpose of the device is to view any portion of someone’s body to which that person would have a reasonable expectation of privacy. It does not matter if that part of the body is clothed. It does matter that this is done without the consent of the other person. Depending on what is on the video, it may also be a violation of Utah’s revenge porn law if the video is shared or if the other person tries to blackmail or extort you.
Eavesdropping via Audio Device in Utah
Utah is considered a one-party state when it comes to recording or listening in on conversations. This means that if two people are involved in a conversation, at least one person needs to give their permission for that conversation to be monitored or recorded. Otherwise, it’s a violation of the law (except when performed by law enforcement with a valid warrant). The law includes the interception of oral, electronic, or wired communication.
GPS Devices in Utah
In Utah, a GPS device may only be used to monitor another person if a licensed private investigator or law enforcement agent completes an application and has it approved by a judge. Yet, despite this, many people illegally use GPS devices (both built-in and planted) to track others at all times without the other person’s consent.
The Real Question: Are You at Risk?
If you are just a regular person who lives or runs a business in Utah, you may not think that you would be a likely target for this sort of invasion of privacy. Yet, it happens more often than you probably realize.
Corporate espionage is a very real concern if you own a business in Utah. Your competition or 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 even be looking to run you out of business. There could be hidden devices in your conference room or in the offices or working areas for your most important team members. Your web conferencing, phone conferencing, computers, and cell phones could also be under surveillance. Corporate vehicles, or even your personal vehicle, could have a hidden GPS or even a hidden camera or audio bug.
Private citizens are also at risk. The most common reasons why hidden cameras, audio bugs, and GPS devices are used against Utah residents include:
- Certain types of surveillance may be performed against you by your soon-to-be ex-spouse. If you still share a home, it may be legal although your no longer significant other didn’t tell you about the device. Your email, cell phone, and your computer could all be monitored. Your web cam may be turning on to watch you without your knowledge.
- Child custody lawsuits. If you’re not married and have a contentious relationship with the other parent of your child, you could also be at risk. Many parents will do this in the name of ensuring their child is safe, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s legal.
- You are in or you left a bad relationship. Intimate partner violence and tumultuous relationships are serious issues in our country. Technology has made it easier for abusers to maintain control over their victims.
- You’re being stalked. You may or may not know who it is or why they’re doing it.
What You Should Do If You Think You’re Being Spied on in Utah
There are certain signs you can look for that could indicate that a hidden camera, audio device, or GPS device is present in your home, office, or vehicle. But a lack of those signs does not mean you’re safe. It could also mean that someone really knows what they’re doing. If you think you are being spied on, call Spy Catchers now at 1-800-373-8726. Let our qualified and experience professionals help you get your privacy back.
If you find the device, do not try to remove it on your own. Many of these devices are extremely sensitive. If you want to pursue your legal rights related to the placement of the device, you’ll need the device intact so that the data can be pulled. Call us. We’re here to help: 1-800-373-8726.