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Spying on a Spouse Using Tracking Devices Could Lead to Imprisonment

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Staff Writer, TLR

Published on March 2, 2024, 11:14:26


tracking device, family, cheating, spying, imprisonment

Individuals who use tracking devices to monitor their spouses could face severe legal consequences, including imprisonment. While these devices are commonly used for keeping track of pets or belongings like car keys, some people are misusing them to intrude upon the privacy of their family members.

The Abu Dhabi Judicial Department recently released a statement emphasising that using tracking devices, such as GPS trackers, to spy on individuals in the UAE violates the law. "Utilising tracking devices for the purpose of stalking or spying on individuals in the UAE may result in imprisonment along with significant fines," the statement noted.

"Abusing these devices to infringe upon the privacy of others is subject to legal penalties," it added. This cautionary announcement follows a recent court case in Dubai where a woman was prosecuted for placing a tracking device on her former spouse. The 41-year-old woman was charged with violating her ex-husband's privacy by concealing an Apple AirTag within a teddy bear belonging to their daughter. The incident occurred subsequent to the couple's divorce in July.

The ex-husband became aware of the device through alerts on his mobile phone, which led him directly to the teddy bear. He accused his former wife of invading his privacy by monitoring his whereabouts. The woman denied the allegations, asserting that the tracking device was intended for locating her pets rather than for surveillance purposes.
Lately, there has been a surge in cases involving surveillance apps installed on phones. Such actions not only infringe upon an individual's privacy but also often result in children becoming collateral damage in parental disputes.

Under the cybercrime law, misusing tracking devices could result in a minimum of six months' imprisonment or fines ranging from Dh150,000 to Dh500,000, or both. Tracking devices are readily available both in stores and online, with prices varying between Dh20 and Dh2,000 depending on the technology.
According to UAE law, GPS tracking devices can only be used on registered commercial vehicles.

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