Stalkerware apps faces first case ever by FTC

Latest invention of Stalkerware or Spouseware is a powerful surveillance software used primarily to spy on a partner. After downloading the software, one allows someone to see or even hear everything that a person is doing on or near their phone or computer.

The latest invention is however a growing problem according to cyber-security researchers, particularly for vulnerable women.

The users can also flip between the front and the back camera on the other person’s phone, whom they are secretly spying on. Furthermore, the software also tracks the person through GPS. It not just updates, but also sends a live image of the location. The software also tells the users what the person has been doing over the course of the last few hours. The technology also has a record function to know about the person who has been contacted.

Security experts advice one way to stop stalkerware being added to your device is to not let your device unattended. Most of the software downloads require physical access. Experts also suggest to not use biometrics, thumbprints can be used without the user’s knowledge. Most important of all, one can always download security software, and cyber-security apps can detect stalkerware and remove it instantly.

An action against software of such nature has been taken Federal Trade Commission (FTC) which made its first case against developers of three stalking apps that can remotely monitor another person’s activity. These were originally developed to monitor employees and children, but is increasingly been used for illegitimate purposes.

For instance, Retina-X Studios is no longer permitted to endorse apps unless its developers are able to provide satisfactory evidence stating that it is not used for illegitimate reasons. PhoneSheriff, MobileSpy and TeenShield are other such apps.

“Although there may be legitimate reasons to track a phone, these apps were designed to run surreptitiously in the background and are uniquely suited to illegal and dangerous uses,” spoke Andrew Smith, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, in a statement.