According to an article by the Charlotte Observer, a Michigan man is charged with a felony and facing up to five years in prison for accessing his wife’s gmail account. The man used a laptop computer which the parties shared in their home and her password to access the email account. Of course, he discovered that she was having an adulterous relationship. The wife filed for divorce, which went through in November, and the husband was charged with a felony. The husband is scheduled to go to trial in February 2011.
The obvious question seems to be whether and to what extent did the wife have an expectation of privacy. Did the husband know the wife’s email password? If so, how did he know her password? Did the wife know that the husband knew the wife’s password? Had the wife ever told the husband to access her account for any reason? Did the wife have the password saved for automatic entry on the family computer?
This case illustrates a very important point: according to this article, approximately 45% of divorce cases involve some sort of electronic snooping. This might include access to email, Facebook, or other electronic information.
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