Have a Fitbit, tracking app or other GPS-enabled tech? The chances of tech-lovers and smart phone owners having something like this are fairly high, and as it turns out, they are being used for more than just fitness tracking and other intended uses. Data collected from these apps is now popping up in divorce filings all over the state of Illinois. 

For the most part, wearable devices and apps that use GPS tracking capabilities are designed to make the user’s life easier. While this technology can help users keep track of steps per day and other related information, it can also enable a suspicious spouse to check up on their significant other’s whereabouts. It may come as no surprise to learn that much of the collected data that leads to divorce is related to infidelity.

So just how commonly is data collected from these devices cited during divorce filings? While the exact figure is not readily available, a 2012 survey found that over 90 percent of family law and divorce lawyers had noted an increase in smart phone data from their clients. Social networking — which has made news in the past for being involved in divorce — only appeared to increase to about 80 percent of divorce lawyers. 

Does this mean that users should toss their tech and favorite apps in the trash? That move likely is not necessary, as experts do not believe that this technology is directly causing divorces in Illinois and across the country. Instead, the information gathered from tech can be helpful for couples and individuals who already understand that divorce is the most appropriate course of action to take.

Source: medium.com, “Divorce, Data Style“, Mary Pilon, June 24, 2015