Tag Archives: electronic information

Law Prohibits Electronic Eavesdropping on SpouseIt should be obvious that you are not allowed to break into your spouse’s locked filing cabinet in order to obtain his or her personal documents during your divorce. The same concept applies to digital information. You are not allowed to snoop through your spouse's computer or other electronic devices to find private communications and documents. The evidence you find would be inadmissible in your divorce case, and you could face criminal charges for violating eavesdropping laws. However, you can use digital information that your spouse makes available to the public.

Electronic Eavesdropping

Eavesdropping is the act of obtaining information that a person can reasonably expect to remain private. There are several methods someone could use to eavesdrop on his or her spouse’s electronic communications or access digital documents:

  1. Unauthorized Log-In: Many computers and email accounts require a user name and password in order to access them. You may know or be able to guess your spouse’s log-in information, but you are not allowed to log in to his or her private accounts without permission.
  2. Hacking: Someone with technical savvy may be able to remotely access a person’s private digital information. Hackers can breach digital security by exploiting system weaknesses or sending an email with malicious software. Hacking into your spouse’s digital devices is a major violation of his or her privacy.
  3. Monitoring: One goal of gaining access to someone’s digital device is to install software that can track and record private conversations. If someone’s spouse was previously allowed to use a device, he or she could have installed spyware. Monitoring your spouse’s emails, texts, phone calls, and video chats is a definite violation of the eavesdropping law.

Public Information

Social media has become the big exception to the eavesdropping laws that restrict access to personal information. Your spouse cannot expect information to remain private if he or she posted it publicly on Facebook or another platform. It is legal for you to watch your spouse’s public social media activity to see if he or she says anything that may be relevant to your divorce.

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Guarding Your Electronic Communications During Your DivorceIt is vital for you to protect your personal information and communications during your divorce. Spouses are looking for information that gives them an insight into the other party’s strategy or that can be used to discredit the other party. Access to your email, text messages and voicemails can expose all of that information and other details you may not want your spouse to know. Unauthorized access to your electronic accounts is illegal, but you would need to prove that your spouse surreptitiously gained access to the information. It is easier to strengthen your cyber security at the start of your divorce.

Security Breaches

Your spouse does not need the skills of a computer hacker in order to access your electronic accounts. Often, it is as simple as knowing your password. Spouses often share passwords with each other so they can both access important personal information. If you have not shared your passwords, your spouse may know where you have them written down. Once your spouse has gotten into your electronic accounts, he or she can:

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Goostree Law Group

Goostree Law Group

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St. Charles, IL 60174

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Naperville IL 60563

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Wheaton, IL 60187

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