: keyloggers - legal?

pants de leon
May 19th, 2006, 09:45 AM
Hi there -- it's great to find this community. I'm afraid my first question here isn't Mac-specific, but I hope you can help me.

Does anyone know, with certainly, whether in Canada it is legal to install a keylogger such as logKext into a computer, without that computer owner's knowledge, and access the logs: emails, files, passwords, etc.?

Thanks for anything you might be able to tell me.


MannyP Design
May 19th, 2006, 09:54 AM
My best guess--only if you own the computer.

May 19th, 2006, 11:06 AM

May 19th, 2006, 11:19 AM
Ah the owner of the computer ie your company, can install it and it is legal, you, however can not install it on your firends computer without his or her consent.

May 19th, 2006, 01:28 PM
It's like any spying; whether it's a keylogger or a camera, you need to respect people's expectation of privacy. If there's no expectation of privacy, and you are dealing with your own property or property you're responsible to manage, you can <i>probably</i> use it.

As to what you do with the results, well, that's something else entirely so don't assume just because you can install a surveylence device like a keylogger or camera that you can do whatever you want with the data. They're separate issues; one right doesn't automatically bestow the other.

If there is any doubt whatsoever about the legality, consult a lawyer. If it's your own personal computer that you use alone, have at it.

pants de leon
May 20th, 2006, 12:24 PM
Many thanks to all of you for your input. I was the victim of the keylogger invasion, incidentally. If anyone has any further insights, or legal certainty on this, please let me know.



pants de leon
May 20th, 2006, 12:25 PM
But you knew this already, so why ask?

If I knew, I wouldn't have asked.


Jan 26th, 2010, 08:12 PM
An acquaintance of mine in LA spent a few days in jail for doing that (installed a keylogger on his ex's computer without their knowledge) -- suffice to say it was not worth the risk.

Jan 26th, 2010, 11:18 PM
Pants, if someone installed a keylogger on YOUR computer without your knowledge, then it's not legal. It would also appear that it's not legal even if it's not your computer, but you're using it. (not sure if employers have any more rights there than anyone else - see below) Although I don't think there are laws that specifically apply to keylogging, it would appear that it falls under the wire-tapping laws.

Read the last post in this thread:

Keyloggers (http://www.wirelessforums.org/comp-security-misc/keyloggers-46747.html)

I would suspect that much will depend on what has been done with the info gathered (and who did the gathering) when it comes to getting any help from the authorities. My experience with the police is that a lot of of them are hopelessly out of it when it comes to technology. Some, of course, are very up on what the criminals are doing, but, and it's a big but, any who I've talked to have been stretched very thin and tend to be working on big cases involving large sums of money/stolen data etc. However, depending on the circumstances, it may not hurt to try. The difficulty in many of these cases is proving WHO did the crime. You may know who did it, but that's not enough in a court of law, unfortunately.

Jan 28th, 2010, 02:43 PM
Keyloggers are legal, but how they are used, may not be

Feb 3rd, 2010, 04:14 AM
The software itself is not automatically illegal.

Employers generally have the right to instal keyloggers on their own systems. You might be using such a system at work. Although they probably can't do it without restriction whatsoever, they have the right to investigate wrongdoing on their systems.

There are other issues regarding confidentiality of certain records (ie patient records) that might apply, but any employer who tells it's employees they "may be monitored" when using company gear or networks I think has said all it has to.

Exactly how it monitors broadly speaking is up to them provided they stay within the law (ie they may not be able to put cameras in a bathroom, which has an expectation of privacy, but they can put cameras up on the premises).

It's when a keylogger is installed on a computer by someone who doesn't have a bona fide reason or authorization that it's not OK, especially if they don't own the computer they're monitoring. An individual who installs one on your computer without your knowledge definitely is risking going into illegal territory. Your Mom might be able to go there but a "friend" probably can't.