High tech equipment available online is increasingly catching out marriage cheats and the evidence could soon be commonplace in court cases, according to a leading family law firm
Lyn Ayrton, managing partner at Lake Legal, warned that divorce lawyers are beginning to use data provided by the internet of things for surveillance, monitoring and location tracking.
She said her firm has seen a 75 per cent increase in social media based evidence being submitted as part of divorce cases over the past 12 months.
Research commissioned by the firm last year revealed Facebook and other social media sites are now used in a third of divorces cases.
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The research highlighted that flirty messages and photographs found on social media platforms such as Facebook are increasingly being used as proof of inappropriate behaviour.
The internet of things - smart devices incorporated into the grid such as household appliances and vehicles - are improving efficiency, energy conservation, and convenience.
But security industry analysts have shown that many of these new systems are a threat to data privacy and data integrity.
Mrs Ayrton said: “Whether it’s smart watches, TVs, security cameras or vehicles - it’s virtually impossible to go anywhere or do anything without being tracked or having our whereabouts pinpointed.
“For anyone seeking to hide their behaviour, be warned, it is becoming increasingly difficult to cover one’s tracks.
“There are a wide variety of devices that can be used to record, monitor and listen in, and some devices such as vehicles have enough technology installed to form a very effective surveillance unit all by themselves.
“There are, of course, legitimate reasons for surveillance for many legal reasons but this is beginning to encroach on everyday life more and more. So when it comes to behaving suspiciously or going behind a partners’ back, being found out is easier than it ever has been thanks to the accuracy of the technology.
“And this can all be used as incriminating evidence should things take an unpleasant turn.”
More than a billion people are now using the internet and it is expected to double in the next decade. Each year, more and more devices and applications are being linked up and transmitting data online, making more ‘things’ on the internet than people.
It is estimated that there will be six billion connected things requesting support, by 2018.
Mrs Ayrton added: “Social media already provides an ongoing log of our lives.
“The sharing of written posts and pictures, often with geo-tagging, provides a record of activities that can be used in a court case.
“Adding to this is the internet of things phenomenon which is much more than just smart homes, smart cars, phones, watches and connected appliances, it is creating huge shifts in individual behaviour and in business and will continue to change and shape our world beyond recognition.
“This also goes for our personal lives and people must remember that as the technology develops in line with our online banking and social media activity, our private lives are increasingly becoming anything but private.”