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Innovative Devices Used to Invade Privacy

| Nov 12, 2020 | Computer Crime |

To claim that cutting-edge technology changed the world would be an understatement. Electronic devices that allowed people to reach out to others worldwide, combined with social media, have connected old and new friends in ways no one could have imagined 20 to 30 years ago.

As with anything, downsides exist. The ease of gathering information makes some connections unwelcome, particularly when the “bond” is not mutual, nor welcome. The more sophisticated the device, the more it can be abused, especially if it involves a remote control to make that “connection.”

Electronic “snooping” devices can take many forms. Illegally accessing a social media account and scrolling through someone’s web search history, installing keylogging software to track computer keystrokes, and secretly attaching a GPS device to a car represents an invasion of privacy that could carry serious criminal charges.

However, one device that has grown in popularity has attracted the attention of authorities at the local and federal level.

Taking to the Air

Once used exclusively for military applications and commercial use, drones have gained popularity in the consumer market, with many using it recreationally for various reasons. Powered by technology that continually learns, avoids obstacles, takes hi-def pictures and videos, the aerial transports intelligently track everything from objects to people.

The ease of operating these somewhat intrusive drones has resulted in misuse that comes close to criminal activity. Some people will abuse the benefits of this technology. Drones can serve as an intrusion of privacy, whether it involves a spurned ex or overly curious neighbor engaged in covert activity.

In many ways, devices used for illegal clandestine purposes have changed the definition of trespassing. Privacy invasion laws could come in to play where harassment offenses and restraining orders could be expanded beyond computer hacking and GPS tracking to include drones. The same principles should apply whether illegal surveillance occurs on the ground or in the air.