GPS tracking may be in a grey area when it comes to ethics, but in certain scenarios, it can become more than a necessity. This is especially true when we’re talking about elderly family members and children – their location is often an important concern for their families.
Since nobody leaves their home without a phone nowadays, phone tracking is one of the most popular means of GPS tracking out there. So, the question has to be asked – is this OK from a legal standpoint or not?
Here we’ll discuss the topic in detail, so keep on reading to learn more about it!
Depends on your area
Some countries and states have stricter rules when it comes to privacy than others. We suggest you do your research and contact a local legal professional before you proceed to track someone’s device. Knowing what the laws and their nuances are (and how strictly they’re enforced) is of the utmost importance, especially if you’re planning on tracking an adult. Usually, this wouldn’t be legal without the person’s explicit consent you’ve asked for prior to installing tracking software on their phone.
Either way, the „legality“ of tracking someone’s phone location will mostly depend on your local area and the laws enforced in your country. We advise you to check up on these before doing anything else – it’s the only way you’ll be absolutely certain you’re not doing something illegal.
Tracking your child is legal almost everywhere
Tracking your child to ensure their safety is not a crime, and it won’t ever be considered one. If you’re concerned about your youngest family members’ safety, you shouldn’t hesitate to start tracking their phones as soon as you can. In this way, you’ll know where your child is at all times, providing you with peace of mind when they’re exploring the outside world.
As we all know, the world is a dangerous place, especially for young children. Knowing their location can prevent them from getting into trouble or even dangerous situations. If your kids are teenagers already, make sure you talk to them before you start insisting on a tracking app. Trust is key in these types of scenarios: prove to them it’s not about control, but worry on your side. They probably won’t like it at first, but hopefully, they’ll understand your point of view as time passes. We recommend against installing this type of software without their knowledge (even though it would be legal to do so), as it could affect your relationship negatively.
Tracking someone’s phone location to protect the phone
Smartphones aren’t just expensive – they’re also full of personal and private data that shouldn’t get into the wrong hands. The risk of losing your phone or getting it stolen is always existent, so tracking it to protect it isn’t something illegal nor unethical (as long as it’s your phone). If you’re, on the other hand, wishing to track your loved one’s device for these reasons, you’ll need their permission if they’re an adult.
There are many useful apps that will allow you to do this easily and without any issues, both for iOs and Android.
Moreover, many of these are completely free, easy to use, and extremely precise!
We advise you to do your research before choosing a phone tracking app to download, though. They’re not of the same quality, so make sure you’ve read up on those reviews and ratings. If you’d rather go for a solution that doesn’t require any downloads, you can find browser-based phone trackers such as the one found on this website.
Either way, proper research is key to getting the most out of a phone locator. No matter if you’d like to protect your loved ones or the phone itself, choosing the best available app should be your first priority.
Tracking a phone that belongs to an adult
In most cases, tracking someone’s location without their knowledge is considered a breach of privacy, which can be very illegal. You wouldn’t like it if someone tracked your location without your knowledge, now, would you?
You’d probably consider that person to be very controlling and untrustworthy, which is why you shouldn’t do it to someone else either.
If you’re, for any reason, worried about someone’s safety and well-being and you need to know their location at all times, make sure you get their permission to install a tracker before you do it. Talk with your loved ones openly, and express your concerns to them. Offer to install a tracker into your device if necessary, and be prepared to accept their refusal. If they won’t give you their permission, there’s nothing you can do about it.
Everyone has a right to privacy, and it’s not your place to demand to know someone’s location if they’re not willing to share it with you.
The only exception to all of this is if your loved one is mentally unstable or ill, and therefore unable to provide consent. This includes your elderly family members that are unable to take care of themselves properly due to illness and old age.
The laws are subject to change
No law is set in stone, so take everything we say with a grain of salt. This is how it is in most places, but this doesn’t mean things won’t change in the near future. Do your own research and contact a legal professional if necessary. You don’t want to do something illegal by accident – it’s not worth the trouble.
The bottom line
All in all, as long as the person you’re tracking is a minor in your care or a consenting adult, phone tracking is perfectly legal in most places. If you believe your loved one may be in danger and you’ve been completely unable to reach them, contact the authorities who can obtain a warrant to track your family member’s mobile phone – everything else is either illegal or extremely difficult to pull off.
We hope our article cleared your doubts on phone trackers and their legality, and we wish you the best of luck in all of your future endeavors.