Wednesday, 13 June 2018

Geolocators are not the problem


With the evolution of technology, more and more people stop using the conventional paper map and begin to depend on the use of GPS when they do not know how to orient themselves in a certain city. In addition to its use in leisure, issues are also fundamental for many in their professional lives, as is the case of taxi drivers for example. 

These devices can have many different functions, as well as helping in the orientation in a certain place, to locate people, prevent vehicle theft and even protect children or pets.

Currently, this type of technology has also helped the work of private detectives in tracking people/cars. However, this type of procedure has been a bit controversial since it has led some investigators in court for suspecting invasion of privacy. Although, the use of GPS devices by these professionals, provided they are in the exercise of their functions, is considered admissible if it is done on public roads and does not replace the work of the detective.

As described in article 48, of Law 5/2014, of April 4, on Private Security: 

"1. The private investigation services, in charge of private detectives, will consist of the realization of the investigations that are necessary for the obtaining and contribution, on behalf of legitimated third parties, of information and tests on conducts or private facts related to the following aspects: 

a) Those related to the economic, labor, mercantile, financial and, in general, to personal, family or social life, except for the one that develops in the domiciles or reserved place.

3. Under no circumstances may the personal life of persons who reside in their homes or other reserved places be investigated, nor may personal, material or technical means be used in this type of service in such a way as to violate the right to honor, to personal or family privacy or the image itself or the secrecy of communications or data protection.

6. The private investigation services will be executed with respect to the principles of reasonableness, necessity, suitability, and proportionality. "

In this way, based on the aforementioned legislation, the placement of a GPS (which only registers where the vehicle is physically located) must be compared to a follow-up carried out by a private detective directly and personally. This professional has the right to rely on technological means to carry out their work since they respect the basic principles of reasonableness, necessity, suitability, and proportionality.



The use of geolocators is not a crime in our profession, it is a tool that provides us with security. Taking as an example, the fact that no matter how much the researcher exceeds the marked speed, we have no justification to follow it at the same pace, attacking public safety, road safety and our own integrity.

We also emphasize that the geolocator gives us information on the positioning of the person on public roads, a fact that would be the same as if we even investigated ourselves, so this tool does not give us more information than we ourselves can see at street level. acquire.

The use of GPS or geolocator as such by a private detective who is in full exercise of his office is not considered a crime.


Sindia Alves and A. Oliver
Anthropologist and Detective
of Oliver Detectives

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