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Is Someone Stalking You? Know Your Location Tracking Rights!

Worried someone's tracking your every move? Learn the laws and protect your privacy!
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With the advent of GPS tracking devices and mobile apps, locating someone without their knowledge has become extremely accessible. These tools offer the ability to remotely monitor a person's location via a computer or laptop, raising important privacy and security questions.

Is it legal to locate someone without them knowing?

Several European countries have passed legislation to address privacy concerns raised by tracking other people's movements without their knowledge. These regulations are often part of harassment laws or prohibit the use and installation of tracking devices on an individual's device or vehicle.

The question of the legality of locating someone without their knowledge is complex, but in most cases, it is considered a crime. This highlights the importance of consent and legal limits on unauthorized surveillance and tracking. In this context, our article will guide you through the legal limits of location, the crucial role of consent, and the potential consequences of locating someone without their knowledge.

The legal limits of a person's location

In the European Union, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) considers location data to be personal data, thus requiring users to specifically and freely consent to the tracking of their location.

Navigating the legal labyrinth of GPS trackers: what should you watch out for?

Locate an individual without their consent.

For individuals, caution is required. The use of spy GPS trackers, which monitor a person's movements without their consent, is strictly regulated. A judicial green light is essential to embarking on this path, under the penalty of severe sanctions of up to two years of imprisonment and a fine of €60,000, especially if your spouse is concerned. The ethical implications carry with them harmful psychological consequences such as loss of trust, leading to a feeling of violation of privacystress, even paranoia, or even the risk of misappropriation. These effects can be particularly serious in the case of children, who need to develop a sense of independence and self-confidence.

Locating a professional without them knowing it

On the business side, compliance with legal procedures is essential. Before tracking employee movements, several steps must be taken. The employer has several obligations towards the CNIL before setting up a geolocation system, in particular consultation of staff representativeswritten information to employees, motivation for setting up the system, declaration to the National Commission of Computing and Freedoms (CNIL), and the possibility for employees to deactivate the device for private use outside their working hours. In addition, the data collected must be kept in a secure place and can only be used within the framework authorized by the CNIL. As a general rule, geolocation information cannot be kept for more than two months, unless there are specific exceptions.

Geolocation without consent: respect for privacy and legal obligations

The protection of the privacy of individuals and employees is a legal priority, in accordance with the GDPR. The collection of data from individuals without consent is prohibited. It is also prohibited by the CNIL to locate professionals outside working hours without their knowledge, unless there is adequate justification from the employer. In addition, monitoring devices must be proportionate to the objective sought.

In the event of non-compliance with the rules, the employer is exposed to severe criminal sanctions, which can go up to 5 years of imprisonment and a fine of 300,000 euros for legal entities and 45,000 euros for individuals. . In addition, non-compliance with the declaration of the geolocation device to the CNIL makes the data collected unenforceable, generating additional penalties such as deprivation of civil rights or confiscation of tracking equipment. French legislation is therefore clear in this regard. Article 226-31 of the penal code prohibits any location without consent. Thus, companies must transparently inform users about the use of geolocation and obtain their explicit consent. Additionally, users should have full control over the level of geolocation and the ability to revoke their consent at any time.

To protect against the risks linked to geolocation, two essential practices are recommended: deactivate geolocation when not necessary to avoid any unauthorized access to your data, and avoid sharing your location on social networks, especially when traveling, so as not to expose your private life to malicious individuals.

Locating a person: methods and essential considerations

The benefits of phone tracking include better security, cyberbullying prevention, and controlling screen time, while the downsides include concerns about privacy and technology addiction.

To prepare a phone or GPS device to be located, you must activate the location service and associate the device with a Google account for Android phones or an Apple ID for Apple smartphones. It is also necessary to check the privacy settings to allow location sharing. Solutions such as Find My Device for Android or Find My iPhone for iOS can be used to find a lost or stolen device. Thus, it is possible to take advantage of this to locate a person.

If you are looking to locate your children, an open dialogue is encouraged before using their phone location, thus fostering a trusting relationship and responsible use of technology. In all cases, it is strongly recommended that you agree with the individual you plan to locate.

What are the remedies for locating a person without their knowledge?

  • GPS location of the targeted smartphone: the most developed surveillance applications to locate a person without their knowledge use GPS location. You can trace anyone's location in real time and use a geofencing feature.
  • Access to all contents of the phone: the calendar, contacts of the targeted phone, media broadcasts received or deleted from the other person, as well as the call log and messages exchanged.
  • Social network monitoring: all messages and calls exchanged through different social networks can be viewed, such as WhatsAppMessenger, or Telegram, where the possibility of tracking a person in real time is integrated.

The top 3 popular alternatives to locating a person with their consent


1. a simple and effective third-party service is a third-party service platform that offers a quick and reassuring solution to locate a person with their consent. All you need to do is provide the phone number in question for a precise location. offers extensive customer service that you can contact by email or telephone for assistance in case of difficulties. The dedicated team is available to offer you personalized assistance, making the action of locating a phone simpler.

2. Find My Device: an integrated alternative for Android devices

Find My Device on Android lets you locate a phone for free. Enable device tracking by opening from another device and signing in with your Google credentials. Select the device you want to locate with Google Maps. This will immediately appear on a dedicated map.

3. Find My iPhone: A Basic App for Apple Devices

Find My iPhone on iOS follows a similar approach for Apple smartphones. In the app, under Settings, then Connect to iPhone, you will need to enable the Find My iPhone option to find your device. The app will then show you the phone in question on an in-app map.

The notion of consent in the context of localization between a platform and its users

Consent to tracking refers to the agreement given by users to allow platforms to collect and analyze their data for the purposes of targeted advertising. Users often assume that tracking is limited to interactions with the site while logged in, such as likes, subscriptions, favorites, and general usage. However, companies collect data beyond user interactions on their platforms, such as Facebook collecting data on users' Facebook friends. This data collected through tracking can be misused. To secure their social media platforms, users can use internal settings and install browser extensions.

Location technology tools

People tracking technologies can be divided into two main categories: interactive (requiring customer consent) and anonymous.

Interactive technologies:

  • Location-based marketing sends real-time promotions relevant to a person's geographic location.

Anonymous technologies:

  • WiFi tracking via smartphones.
  • BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) beacons use opt-in customer data.
  • Tags RFID.
  • Product SKU tracking: captured items are recognized by attributes and identified by a random ID.

People tracking technologies have five fundamental attributes: detectionrecognitionpredictionaccuracy, and time-based accuracy.

Online privacy protections

To strengthen your privacy online and minimize tracking without your consent, here are some practical steps.

  • Opt out of receiving targeted ads on your Windows and Android devices. This option is available in the privacy settings of each operating system.
  • Install ad blockers on Android and iOS devices to prevent ads from being displayed and trackers from tracking them.
  • Adjust your browser settingsChromeFirefoxMicrosoft Edge, and Safari offer options to improve online privacy, such as blocking third-party cookies.
  • Use browser extensions dedicated to privacy protection.
  • Use Apple's new privacy and security features, which include advanced protections against tracking and fingerprinting and automatic locking of incognito windows, among others.

By implementing these measures, you can significantly reduce the risk of online tracking without your consent and strengthen the protection of your privacy.

Locating a person without their knowledge: What to remember

Throughout this article, we have explored the legal complexities and considerations surrounding tracking someone without their consent, highlighting legislative developments and privacy implications. This highlighted the paramount importance of consent in the use of location-based technologies and the potential legal consequences for those who transgress these prerogatives. By highlighting the strict regulations, the article clearly demonstrates that despite the ease of access to tracking tools, the legality of their use remains strongly framed by ethical and legal considerations. The privacy protection measures highlighted remind individuals and organizations of the importance of staying informed and acting in full compliance with applicable laws. Ultimately, the balance between technological benefits and respect for privacy remains a central issue, requiring continued vigilance and adaptation to legislative and technological developments.



Is it permitted by law to track someone's movements without their consent?

It is illegal to use a GPS tracking device to spy on someone. According to Article 226-31 of the Penal Code, this action is punishable by sanctions, including the possibility of being deprived of civic, civil, and family rights.

What are the legal restrictions on the use of tracking devices?

The use of trackers to continuously monitor an employee is restricted. In particular, it is prohibited to use them in the vehicle of an employee who enjoys a certain autonomy in his movements, such as a VRP, or to follow the movements of staff representatives in the exercise of their duties.

What are the current standards for employee geolocation?

CNIL guidelines state that an employer cannot locate an employee outside of working hours or during the commute if that time is unpaid. It is also prohibited to geolocate staff representatives as part of their missions.

How can we locate a person with their consent?

To find out the location of a person with their consent, you can use the Find My app. After opening the app, select the “People” tab, choose the person whose location you want to track, scroll down, and click “Ask to track location.”.

Location Tracking: Is it Legal and How to Protect Yourself?

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