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I SPY! With my phone-y eye

 App providers  routinely  snoop on our  phoning  habits. Now,  the same tech lets us spy on each other.
By Anand Parthasarathy
Bangalore, August 22 2016: All of us have downloaded  so-called free apps for our phones in big or small measure.  We pay a price, though not in  cold cash:  our privacy.  Before  you can use the app, you have to agree for the provider to   read your preferences, your  phone settings, your browsing  habits, your address book... they are getting bolder,  more blatant,  with every passing day.  Click that 'Yes' button and a little morsel of code has  been sent into your handset, to act as resident Snoop Dog monitoring everything you do on the phone.  This is spyware --  legalized.  They  are able to do it because there are no laws  to protect your privacy in Cyberia -- once you  open the doors with  an unknowing  'yes'.
Many of these   snoop tools have now  taken on a life of their own  --  as    free software that allows you to  pry into the browsing, mailing and texting habits  of other phone owners.  All you need to do is  access the target handset  and   quickly install the spy in a hidden folder.  Do a random search  for spy software in Android's Google Play or  Apple's  Appstore   and you will  have dozens of apps popping up, with names like Secret Recorder,  Mobile Monitoring, Phone Data Tracker, Mobile Spy etc.
A lively area seems to be,     young people tracking  each other-- or more commonly,   spouses spying on each other...  indeed  there's an app called Cheating Spouse.  With  all these apps you can  track  the target's physical location, thanks to GPS; monitor  and download their  phone calling history; read the first 30-50 characters of every SMS or email they send or receive.  Installing the app on your partner's phone is not very difficult.  But if you  need to snoop on the phone-y activity of a third party  in apati, patni aur woh situation, you can always find  private agencies  who include such 'affirmative   action'  in their detective work.   I also stumbled on a Couple Tracker  where   the twosome is  encouraged to install the app  on each other's phones  in the spirit of  "You  snoop on me and I'll snoop on you!"
One legitimate avatar of such phone tracking,  is  child monitoring.  Parents gift  phones  to  even to children  below 10 years,    to give them a safety umbilical.  But this is a double edged sword:  Kids are curious and tend to misuse phones, acquire dubious friends or exchange objectionable material.     On this page we have reviewed a few children's phones that come preinstalled,  with tools to track what your children  arer viewing;  block adult sites;  keep tabs on their friends  -- and also  lay out a Geofence -- a GPS-driven boundary  beyond which they can't stray without triggering an alert message to you. If they are taken forcibly, there is a one-key SOS they can send.
Even if you  buy a standard phone, you can  install  free apps   like Family Locator or  Family Time to  invoke this type of parental oversight over multiple children. 
One Indian app that requires the school to register, is Northstar. It helps parents track their children even when they are in the school bus.
Another desi  transport tracking solution is  EvoSchool   from Delhi-based  Evoxyz, which shows you  your kids'  location when   they are in school  and en route.  Very small children can   be fitted with a  small waterproof Evotag that can be tracked by the parent.
Phone snooping technology doesn't  take a moral stand.  It work equally well for  anxious parents and  paranoid spouses.  Someone,  some where,  is  probably watching what you do.  You can try and reduce the risk by ensuring, people can't get their hands on your  device to install a tracker.  Soon, they may be able to do it remotely. But are you going to throw away your phone? I thought not!

 




    


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I SPY! With my phone-y eye
by Ladainian on March  13,  2017
  "Sans vouloir attaquer ATC, je n’oserais pas, moi simple échoué (par deux fois) au Baccalauréat, attaquer un prof des 5ème et 6éme ou 4ème. Le recalé multirécidiviste, à l&sniuo;agrégatqor, s’ennuie à la lecture de Nabokov, dommage qu’il n’en fait pas une critique best-seller. ATC serait-il une sorte d’Onfray rdélien?"