Privacy and Computers In a Divorce
by Gary Port /
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August 11, 2008
There was a recent decision reported in the New York Law Journal, August 8, 2008 that shows how computers, used unwisely, can damage your position in a divorce. Justice Evans, in New York county, ruled that information found by the wife on the husband’s computer could be used in the trial.
The lap top computer, found in the trunk of the family car, contained “hundreds and hundreds of pages of really salacious conversations” between the husband and his girlfriend.
The court found that since the lap top did not have any passwords and the files were not encrypted, it was similar to an open file cabinet. Therefore, the husband had no claim to privacy in his computer files.
The lesson is clear for both parties in a divorce. First, don’t hide information on a computer. Second, if you really want to leave damning information on your computer, such as emails, instant messages, your internet browsing history or financial information, use a password to access the computer, and encrypt your files.