Many people that believed that their spouses may be cheating on them decided to resort to mobile phone apps that would allow them to monitor their spouse’s phone activity including phone calls, text messages, Internet browsing, GPS location, and new contacts.
Congress is now banning such apps by closing a loophole that software producers took advantage of.
While stalking and wire-tapping is clearly illegal under federal law, there is no law that prevents companies from producing applications that would allow people to do just that. Senator Franken proposes to extend criminal and civil liabilities for the improper use of the apps to include those that produce them and sell them.
“What’s most troubling is this: Our law is not protecting location information,” said Sen. Franken, chairman of the Senate Judiciary subcommittee on privacy, technology, and the law.
One such company, Retina Software, argues that their program is designed for lawful monitoring of the cellphone as the owner of the cellphone is allowed to monitor it.
“If there is evidence the customer doesn’t own the phone, the account is closed,” the company said. “The program is not intended or marketed for malicious purposes and doesn’t facilitate stalking,” said their statement.
The main concern is that such applications lead to domestic violence.
“It’s really, really troubling that an industry would see an opportunity to make money off of strengthening someone’s opportunity to control and threaten another individual,” says Karen Jarmoc, executive director of the Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence.
Paul Hudson | Elite.