A Cobb County jury will potentially decide if placing a GPS tracking device on a woman’s car is an invasion of privacy or an acceptable means employed by a private detective to determine if she was having an affair. Apparently, Georgia has no laws governing this specific issue.
The Loganville mother of three filed a suit against the private investigation firm, and her attorney has asked the overseeing Cobb Superior Court judge for a jury trial. He believes that people should have a “reasonable expectation that somebody is not going to put a GPS on your car and track you.”
The private investigation firm’s attorney has deemed the lawsuit “frivolous, groundless and meritless” and has asked for its dismissal. He claims that the private investigators are a small business being sued for performing its job, reasoning that “we live in a society where we are all surveilled wherever we go. Your cellphone provider knows where you are at all times.”
The arguments presented by the lawyers revolve around the definition of reasonable surveillance, an allowance currently made by the law for when a person is in public. O.C.G.A. § 16-11-62 (2) states that it’s unlawful for anyone “through the use of any device, without the consent of all persons observed, to observe, photograph, or record the activities of another which occur in any private place and out of public view.” The mom’s attorney believes that the statute doesn’t govern the use of tracking devices and that the device transmitted information of her client’s whereabouts when she was not in public. The private investigator’s attorney contends that all types of surveillance are commonly employed in compiling evidence for lawsuits. The lawyer for the mother further contends that if GPS tracking is permitted, then it could potentially pave the way for an Orwellian future as depicted by George Orwell’s 1984, in which a dystopian society is monitored by Big Brother.
The Marietta Daily Journal reached out to state Representative Bert Reeves, R-Marietta, and learned that he would be interested in clarifying the law in this area. He felt that placing a GPS tracker on a car unbeknownst to the owner “seem[ed] to violate a degree of privacy on multiple levels.”
The wife of a Walton County businessman hired the detective agency
“to see what her husband was up to,” which, apparently, led to GPS tracking of the husband’s administrative assistant and mother of three to determine if they were having an affair. The Loganville mom divorced her husband for her boss, but the boss and his wife have yet to settle their divorce.