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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    1

    Default What Surveillance is Legal

    My question involves private investigators in the state of:
    California

    I just got a strange call from a man who thinks I've been seeing his wife(which I have not) who confronted me over the phone and basically told me that he had hired a private investigator and "knew all about me". I felt my privacy invaded in a serious way, especially since I have done nothing wrong at all. When someone hires a PI to follow you, how much information, and of what kind, can they gather on you? Is this not a breach of ones rights as a US citizen? What are my rights here?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Bloomfield, New Jersey
    Posts
    21

    Default Re: What Surveillance is Legal

    Privacy rights deal with governmental intrusions (i.e. cops) into your life. So long as the PI (a civilian) is not breaking any state/federal laws (i.e. wiretaps, trespassing, postal mail interceptions, etc.) he is able to obtain information on you that is (1) open to the public (i.e. department of motor vehicle information, city hall records, etc.) and (2) information that you put out to the public (i.e. holding hands with someone in public, garbage bags outside your house, surveillance, etc.).

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    563

    Default Re: What Surveillance is Legal

    Quote Quoting njlawyer
    View Post
    Privacy rights deal with governmental intrusions (i.e. cops) into your life. So long as the PI (a civilian) is not breaking any state/federal laws (i.e. wiretaps, trespassing, postal mail interceptions, etc.) he is able to obtain information on you that is (1) open to the public (i.e. department of motor vehicle information, city hall records, etc.) and (2) information that you put out to the public (i.e. holding hands with someone in public, garbage bags outside your house, surveillance, etc.).

    at what point does garbage become public?
    on the porch? at the curb?
    in the street?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    28,637

    Default Re: What Surveillance is Legal

    It depends on your state. Generally speaking, when you have placed it in a location that evidences that you have abandoned your ownership and expectations of privacy.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Atlanta
    Posts
    8

    Default Re: What Surveillance is Legal

    Quote Quoting drmeshuga
    View Post
    My question involves private investigators in the state of:
    California

    I just got a strange call from a man who thinks I've been seeing his wife(which I have not) who confronted me over the phone and basically told me that he had hired a private investigator and "knew all about me". I felt my privacy invaded in a serious way, especially since I have done nothing wrong at all. When someone hires a PI to follow you, how much information, and of what kind, can they gather on you? Is this not a breach of ones rights as a US citizen? What are my rights here?
    If you are concerned about possible illegal or unethical behavior by a PI, I would recommend you contact your state's PI association or licensing authority. For California, here's the info:

    http://www.cali-pi.org/

    http://www.bsis.ca.gov/

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