Keylogger Software Company Not Liable for Eavesdropping by Ex-spouse — Hayes v. SpectorSoft

6 02 2010

[Posted by Venkat]

In what probably belongs in the “software doesn’t surreptitiously record conversations, people do” file, a federal court in Tennessee rejected Electronic Communications Privacy Act and product liability claims brought by someone whose ex-spouse used software to log internet activity and communications. (Access a copy of the order here [scribd].)

The case presented a now-familiar fact pattern of the use of monitoring (in this case keylogger) software by a spouse to keep track of the online activities of the soon-to-be ex-spouse. The plaintiff (Thomas Hayes) sued SpectorSoft, which produced two pieces of software used by his ex-spouse and someone else to monitor his instant message, email, and browsing activities. Hayes alleged violations of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act and also asserted negligence and product liability claims. The court granted SpectorSoft’s motion for summary judgment and dismissed the case.


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