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Does Tracking a Car Via GPS Violate Driver Privacy?

Does Tracking a Car Via GPS Violate Driver Privacy?

One of the top questions we often receive at OnTrak Solutions is whether it is illegal to put a tracker on someone else’s car. The legality of using a GPS tracker on another person’s vehicle without their permission is clear—it is illegal in all 50 states. Not only does this act violate legal standards, but it also exposes the individual to potential civil lawsuits for privacy infringements.

GPS Tracking Laws: Is GPS Tracking Legal?

Using a GPS tracker on someone else’s vehicle without their consent is unequivocally illegal. This applies nationwide, and our policy at OnTrak Solutions reflects this legal stance—we do not endorse or sell GPS trackers for unauthorized use on vehicles that do not belong to you. Even law enforcement officers must obtain a warrant before they can legally place a GPS tracker on a vehicle. This alone contradicts what might often be portrayed in TV shows and films.

In short, it’s illegal to put a tracker on someone else’s vehicle without their permission.

Different Situations Where It Is Legal To Use GPS Trackers

While it is illegal to track someone else’s vehicle without their consent, the rules change when you own the vehicle. If you own a vehicle, you generally have the right to install a GPS tracker on it. However, this right is not absolute. The legal landscape can vary by state and depends significantly on who controls the vehicle. For instance, different rules may apply if the vehicle is driven primarily by someone else, like a spouse, child, or employee.

For example, employers can legally install GPS trackers on company-owned vehicles used by employees without needing the employee’s consent. This is generally acceptable as long as the tracking does not infringe on the employee’s privacy outside of work hours.

For family-owned vehicles, the laws can be more nuanced. Parents are typically allowed to track vehicles driven by their minor children. However, tracking a spouse without their knowledge, while not necessarily illegal, can lead to severe personal repercussions and is generally advised against.

So, our advice is to never track an adult without their knowledge. Furthermore, if you are going to track your children, letting them know about the tracking device is probably a better way of discouraging bad behavior than trying to catch them doing something wrong.

Who Can Legally Use a GPS Tracker on a Car?

Legal users of GPS trackers on cars primarily include vehicle owners tracking their own vehicles, employers monitoring company vehicles, and parents overseeing the use of a vehicle by minor children. Each of these scenarios has specific legal stipulations that must be adhered to. This ensures that the use of GPS tracking technology respects privacy and complies with applicable laws.

Choosing an Effective GPS Tracker

When selecting a GPS tracker, it’s crucial to consider both the legal implications and the technical requirements of your specific situation. An effective GPS tracker should offer reliable, accurate data while being compliant with legal standards. At OnTrak Solutions, we provide a range of GPS tracking solutions that meet these criteria to help you manage your fleet efficiently and legally.

If you’re considering implementing GPS tracking for your fleet or personal vehicle and want to ensure you’re fully compliant with legal standards, reach out to OnTrak Solutions. We offer expert advice and state-of-the-art products designed to keep you informed and in control.