avflox has an interesting blog entry that includes opinions of several lawyers on the issue of whether having your spouse’s underwear tested for evidence of cheating violates any laws on privacy. And of course, being lawyers, some get somewhat creative in advancing the idea of property torts vs. privacy torts, etc.
…. an e-mail stumbled into my inbox from a a scientist friend at USC, the subject of which read: “DNA tests underwear to prove infidelity.”
“Worried your man is cheating?” asks Discovery’s Discoblog. “Don’t rely on hunches, send his undies to the lab.”
They detail some of the tests employed by the Phoenix-based Chromosomal Laboratories, Inc., one of the main labs specializing in treating intimate wear like crime scene investigations, which call for whatever clothing item contains suspicious stains as well as the submitter’s cheek swabs (DNA collected from inside the mouth using a Q-tip). They offer UV-light sweeps, microscopic analysis for sperm heads, and a test for prostate-specific antigen and vaginal fluid.
My first impulse -– based on yet another piece of unsolicited advice, this one relayed by my father -– was to immediately reference the law. Clearly, having your panties or shirt or dress or any other personal effect by your significant other constitutes an invasion of privacy.
In a piece for the Phoenix New Times, which broke the story, an analyst for Chromosomal by the name of Melissa Beddow stated that taking someone’s undergarments to test for DNA was not an invasion of privacy because the tests were not used in court.
However, a review of privacy law regarding intrusion upon seclusion indicates that no publication or court proceeding is necessary to constitute a violation of privacy –- the legal wrongdoing essentially occurs at the time of intrusion, whether this is done by monitoring, investigating, observing or examining a person’s private matters.
Keep reading on BlogHer.