Divorcing couples and The Computer Misuse Act 1990
By Nicola Furmston
It’s not uncommon for divorcing couples to be tempted to raid the other party’s computer for information to help their own case. This is an offence against The Computer Misuse Act 1990. The act provides that it is an offence for a person to cause ‘a computer to perform any function with intent to secure access to any program or data held in any computer’ where permission has not been given and the raider knows that.
There are other offences relating to copying and storing such data. Quite apart from the criminal ramifications, illegally obtained data will have to be disclosed to the other party and may jeopardise legal representation.
Nicola Furmston is a solicitor and head of the Family team at Barker Gotelee.