You’ve probably heard about mobile spy software as a way people are keeping tabs on their children and a way they are keeping track of their employees. And most of what you read online and in the press either talks about how these apps can be used for good by legitimate people like parents or employers who use them responsibly, or you read about abuses perpetrated by people who try to use them improperly and illegally to track people without their knowledge.
While the overwhelming majority of uses are legitimate and responsible, both of these cases are when one party wants to track the activities of another. But little has been said about the use of cell phone spy software as a means to help others keep an eye on you.
There are several situations where allowing someone else to spy in you could be very helpful. For example, think of situations where a person needs to be protected from their own actions. A recovering alcoholic giving monitoring rights to their sponsor comes to mind. While they might not be able to prevent drunken dialing, a sponsor could look at the target phone’s calling histories to see signs of a relapse. They could also monitor its location, in case an intervention became necessary.
People with histories of drug problems of all kinds could, in their sobriety, put in safeguards to allow people who care to give them assistance if they ever lapse and need help. Rather than relying on their abusing mind to pull them out of a bad situation, they can enable a responsible friend to keep an eye on them by simply watching their cell phone. If the GPS log shows them frequenting the drug alley in town, that’s a sure sign someone needs to call in help.
Another time when implementing self-monitoring would be helpful is with people with histories of mental illness. Older people with the early signs of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease could also provide themselves with an extra assurance that if their condition took a turn for the worse. Knowing that they have a potential to have an episode which renders them unable to stay out of danger or help themselves find their way to safety unaided, people with intermittent mental problems can enable family, friends or caregivers to monitor them using the signals from their cell phone devices.
And for those who’ve made mistakes and are trying to regain the trust of someone they’ve hurt, installing a phone spy app on their own phone and giving that person the ability to monitor them might be a way to show good intentions and gain trust. A cheating spouse who has been caught might do better by suggesting that they be monitored than waiting for their suspicious spouse to demand it. By taking the initiative and sacrificing their own expectations of privacy, someone with a history of infidelity could show that their promises to change are sincere and that they will not relapse into that destructive behavior.
So while cell phone spyware is primarily thought of as a way to spy one someone else, it might be just as useful as a way to volunteer to let others spy on you.