Is It Wrong or Actually Illegal To Snoop Through Your Spouse’s Phone?
Etiquette v. Respect v. Lawful
It seems pretty obvious that it is wrong to snoop through someone else’s phone, such as your spouse, no matter what the reason. But the real question would be, is it illegal to snoop through your spouse’s phone?
It is assumed by many that if you are married, or if the cell phone account is in your name, that you have the right to view the information stored in someone else’s phone. Information like text messages, emails or social media accounts tend to be the most common areas for people to snoop. If you are a parent and you want to keep a close eye on your children under the age of 18, it is considered to be responsible parenting. However, children over the age of 18, spouses, significant others, friends or even co-workers, fall into a completely different category of responsibility.
Under Federal law, you are not permitted to view, read or listen to any communication on someone else’s phone or electronic device. So where does that leave someone who suspects their spouse is cheating. All of the signs are there, but they only need proof. Although the proof could help your divorce case, it could actually land you facing some criminal charges.
There is case law where spouses have actually been charged criminally when snooping through a spouse’s phone for proof of an affair. Be sure to consult with your attorney to find out where the boundaries are to ensure you don’t put yourself in legal trouble.
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