Divorce proceedings have seen unprecedented levels of change thanks to technological innovations. Where once evidence against wayward spouses was relatively difficult to obtain, today social media and mobile phone apps are being used to spy on errant partners and gather evidence by those seeking to exit a marriage. It’s worth taking a look at exactly what is happening and what the effects of these developments are.
Social-networking sites have been cited as factors in many divorce cases over the past decade, often as evidence for unreasonable behaviour or infidelity. Suspicious spouses have logged on to their partner’s Facebook or Twitter accounts and found and recorded evidence of incriminating posts, photographs and status updates that suggest that there’s infidelity at play. Often the ‘guilty’ partner has argued that their social-media account doesn’t represent or mirror ‘real life’. However, usually the damage has been done and the courts are increasingly viewing posts on these sites as legitimate pieces of evidence in divorce cases.
Mobile Phone Apps
The emergence of apps has truly revolutionised the mobile-phone market, making smart phones extremely popular and fuelling their widespread adoption. Any developer with a creative streak can create and sell an app and the take-up is sometimes huge. Increasingly, new apps are being developed which allow people to carry out surveillance and spying activities. Mobile apps such as iPhone Spy work as a stealthy means of collecting information and data from the phone’s user. However, buyers should aware that this may be considered illegal in court, so extreme caution should be exercised. Jealousy and technology can be a very dangerous combination!
These apps have been used by several suspicious spouses who have submitted evidence to divorce courts gathered from their partner’s phone. Mobile spying apps can extract videos, text messages, photos, emails, call histories and contacts from a phone. Some apps can even record phone conversations which can later be introduced as evidence in court. The iPhone can trace its users’ locations and travel times with GPS technology, to further build a damning picture of infidelity. These have been used in real cases as evidence of wrongdoing and have worked in favour of the surreptitious app installer. There is often a lot of money at stake in these court cases, so this kind of behaviour could become increasingly common.
The mobile phone spy app isn’t easily traceable by the owner of the infected phone, which means that only the installer can see the data captured and reported by it. If this activity proves that one partner is truly guilty of infidelity, then it could be admissible as incontrovertible evidence.
Is there a moral to be learnt about this new kind of technology? Perhaps it is that both people in a relationship should be cautious about using these apps. Jealously can kill a marriage as quickly as cheating, whether it is real or imagined. There can be dangerous legal consequences to spying on people and prying into their affairs. At the same time, however, one could argue that technology is simply facilitating the function of the old ‘honey-trap’ agencies and personal investigators of the past. It could be described as simply a new way of doing something that has been happening for a long time. It’s an interesting technological concept with powerful social repercussions and it will be fascinating to see how the law and the divorce courts will respond to it.
About the Author:
The above article is composed and edited by Roxanne P. She is associated with many Technologies communities as their freelance writer and adviser. In her free time she writes articles related to social media, comcast deals etc.