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The Ultimate "Spy" Defense? Nicole Murphy Tracked by Former Boyfriend, NFL Giant Michael Strahan Via Spy Gadget

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By Admin on March 06, 2009 1:18 PM

Retired New York Giant player Michael Strahan may have taken any "spy" defense employed during his football career to a whole new level after he tracked his former girlfriend Nicole Murphy (who also happens to be the ex-wife of Eddie Murphy) using a spy gadget of some sort.

Apparently, Strahan may have been concerned (perhaps with good reason) about Nicole Murphy's potential interest in recording exec Demetrius Spencer.

It looks like Strahan is not new to the world of secret surveillance, however, as the New York Post indicated:

"During his nasty 2006 divorce trial, Strahan's ex-wife, Jean, accused the hulking defensive lineman of using high-tech spyware to tap her phone at their New Jersey mansion. She also revealed at the trial that he'd installed a secret video system to record her sister undressing."

When it comes to affairs of the heart, the use of bugs, cameras, or tracking devices is certainly not uncommon, even in highly unusual places. The question of their legality, however, is another matter. It's unclear what type of device was allegedly being used by Strahan, but apparently it did provide "up-to-the-minute location status", so it was presumably something at least similar to a GPS. So are such devices legal to install, and if so, by whom and where?

As is often the case, laws are going to vary from state to state on the legality of planting tracking devices on cars. For example, employers have sometimes been known to use GPS devices on company cars to ensure that the cars aren't being used for non-business purposes. However, many states also have statutes prohibiting employers from taking action against their employees for legal, off-duty conduct, and furthermore, state privacy statutes can also come into play.

Private individuals looking to do some amateur sleuthing via GPS should similarly be concerned about breaking their state's privacy laws, even if it is their own car they are tracking. If it's not their own car, they are almost certainly going be opening themselves up to legal trouble. Rental car companies have come under scrutiny in the past for using GPS devices on their own vehicles, and then charging their customers for information provided by the GPS, such as going too fast and "excessive wear and tear".

The bottom line is that anyone considering the use of GPS or a similar track technology should not take that action without consulting with local counsel regarding the most up to date laws in their jurisdiction.