Monday, April 18, 2011

Stealth iPhone App vs. Invasion of Privacy

When interested in a topic, usually one 'googles' it, so that is exactly what I did. I googled tracking devices just to see what would emerge and interestingly enough, an application for the new iPhone 4 caught my eye. Two companies promoting their product of a hidden spy application to another's phone allows you to track their phone's content including:

GPS tracking and a link to a map to the phone's location, call logs (incoming and outgoing), text messages (incoming and outgoing), contacts (saved and deleted), read emails (read, replied, and deleted), browser logs, and photos (uploaded, taken, and deleted).

The company then goes on to elaborate on the pro's of buying their product, such as: being able to locate their kids if in an emergency, monitoring their children's behavior and use of their phone, used against theft or loss of the phone, can make your phone a spy gadget, and finally the reason I thought most humorous, catching a cheating spouse, which they promote is cheaper than hiring a private detective or installing a GPS tracking device on their spouses car.

These two companies promote invasion of privacy through which they record/upload information wanted by the customer to a server into the companies system which can be accessed at any time. They also add the consumer can conveniently chose which tracking they would like to be turned 'on' and 'off' by a press of their finger on their iPhone.

I found this increasingly disturbing as I kept reading their website/ sales pitch. Their entire business revolves around 'hidden' personal invasion. In my last few posts are rebuttals saying this kind of activity is breaking the law, or trying to emphasize voters to enact a law against these types of devices. How do you know this information is only being used for the consumers eyes only? Is this information being uploaded into the companies system able to be hijacked? These questions are should be answered by the company. If a small application business can hack into a smartphone and have it's contents uploaded onto another server, who else can hack with out authorization? The company did note that Apple was independent of their business and did not promote the application. I believe this to be a smart move for their major corporation against many civil suits that could be connected to these spy applications. How these companies are still in business is beyond me and violates the online Commercial Privacy Bill of Rights of 2011. I would love to know other's thoughts on pro's and con's of these types of businesses.


Stealth iPhone App Website
Commercial Privacy Bill of Rights 2011

1 comment:

  1. In accordance with their sales pitch I can see how it can help parents monitor their children or locate them if they have gone missing. That type of situation I would agree with the product. Catching the cheating spouse, while hilarious, it would in fact be cheaper than hiring an investigator and what not. Regardless of these situations though, I personally think its going too far with the availability of information they can track with a single push of a button. People have a right to their individual privacy and this app would only infringe upon their rights. As you had mentioned about the information getting into the wrong hands, I can think of no better worst case scenario. Having that information hijacked can easily help criminals whether they be thieves, stalkers or even pedophiles. Needless to say, I think its too risky an app. While it may have good intentions the potential risks involved are just too high.