Computer Invasion of Privacy Defense
Governed by the Computer Systems Act computer invasion of privacy is a felony in Georgia.
Computer Invasion of Privacy - O.C.G.A. § 16-9-93
Any person who uses a computer or computer network with the intention of examining any employment, medical, salary, credit, or any other financial or personal data relating to any other person with knowledge that such examination is without authority shall be guilty of computer invasion of privacy.
Penalties for Violation and Lawsuits
The punishment for violation of this law is up to fifteen (15) years in prison and up to a $50,000 fine. Additionally, the law also specifically says that someone who is affected by this can sue the alleged perpetrator and try to get money.
Example - 911 Dispatcher in Bartow County
This is not one of the most popular crimes in Georgia. Many prosecutors have probably never charged anyone with a violation of this law. There was a recent arrest for violation of this statute that is pretty interesting, however.
A 911 dispatcher was arrested for accessing people's criminal records when she was not supposed to be doing so.
Law enforcement officers (police), prosecutors, and folks like dispatchers have access to people's criminal histories. These records are maintained by the GBI and are only accessible in limited circumstances.
This is an interesting case because it could set a precedent for others in government jobs to be prosecuted if they are running people's criminal history when they shouldn't be.