Sneaky software allows paranoid partners access to data from mobiles

SUSPICIOUS that your husband may be playing away from home? Worried that your wife is seeing someone else? Well forget hiring a private eye and use your phone to seek proof.

An anti-cheating software application makes it harder to be unfaithful by allowing couples to track what their other halves are doing via their smartphones – and even to record clandestine conversations.

The mCouple app, from US surveillance firm mSpy, allows suspicious spouses and paranoid partners access to data on their loved one’s phone.

Both partners must agree to have the app downloaded onto their smart-phones, and users are legally obliged to let their partner know that they will be tracking them.

These include access to calls, text messages, emails, and Facebook at any time.

He or she can also pinpoint their partner’s location and map where they have been using GPS.

But the upgraded Pro version of mCouple, for €29.99 a month, intro-duces a whole different level of sur-veillance.

It allows the user secretly to track their partner’s details incognito.

It also allows a suspicious partner to record their loved one’s calls.

Under Irish law that could be a problem as the recording of any phonecall without the express knowl-edge of the other is illegal.

The Pro version would need to be installed on the partner’s phone and it
The app that allows you to spy on your partner

SPLIT: Yvonne found suspicious texts on Ronan’s phone wouldn’t show as an icon on the welcome screen or in the app list. The user could track their partner’s phone activity in complete secrecy.

Top Dublin barrister Liz Walsh said it would be ‘a straightfor-ward breach’ of the 1983/1993 Postal and Telecommunications Service Act and the 1988 Data Protection Act if someone was using the app without consent.

`A person intercepting or attempting to intercept telecom-munication without the knowl-edge and consent of their spouse’ would be breaking the law. Traf-fic data reveals an enormous amount about an individual’.

MSpy warns it is ‘considered a federal and/or state violation of the law’ to install surveillance software without consent.

The Pro version can also turn the phone into a recording device, block ‘inappropriate’ apps and programmes, and lets the user record calls from and to certain contacts.

It also shows all pictures and videos taken by the phone’s cam-era or downloaded and gives access to logins and web searches phrases recorded on the phone.

Kildare-based marriage counsellor Fiona Masterson said it could be used ‘by people who suspected somebody’s cheating or by somebody who was paranoid and ill’.

Relationship Ireland’s Tony Moore said he has had cases of `people who use similar things, detective agencies, and tracking devices on cars. It’s usually a sign the marriage is in trouble and at that stage past saving.’ Michele Neylon, CEO and founder of Blacknight Internet Solutions in Cork, said use of the app could ‘kill any situation where somebody had multiple girlfriends’. He raised concerns about the potentially harmful nature of the software, warning that: ‘The implications could be quite disturbing.
`It is creepy on one level because for anybody, no matter who it is, moments of privacy are really important’.

It’s a far cry from Ronan Keating being caught cheating due to his mobile phone. Keating’s ex Yvonne learned of his affair after finding sexually suggestive texts from dancer Francine Cornell on a phone.
Want to go all NSA on your significant other? Here’s how…
TO DOWNLOAD mCouple for free on your own and your partner’s phone, you need to: For iPhones, go to the App Store and search for `mCouple – Mobile Tracker’. Download using your iTunes details. For Android phones, download the app from play.google.com. Create a profile to get a user ID. Do the same on your partner’s phone to get his/her ID number. Enter your partner’s ID number into the app in your own phone and send him/her a request to connect your two smartphones. Accept the request on your partner’s phone.  The mCouple app should show up as an icon on both phones and you should be able to track your partner’s location, contacts, texts, call history and Facebook chats. To track your partner’s smartphone activity invisibly using mCouple Pro: Visit the website m.mcouple.com and click on ‘Buy Now’. Change the currency to Euro on the screen, and enter  your bank details to buy the app for (29.99 per month. ■ Launch the browser on your partner’s phone. ■ Type in the link you were provided when you purchased the app on the mCouple website. ■ Click on the downloaded file. ■ The app will ask you to enter the registration code you were given during the purchase. ■ To track your partner’s smartphone activity, log into mSpy.com anywhere. — The app should not show on your partner’s phone and you should be able to track and record his/her smartphone activity at mspy.com. 

App to hit bullies?
THE mCouple app could help fight cyberbullying, according to Jim Harding, director of charity Bully4U. Mr Harding said such bullying often goes unnoticed by parents, but that mCouple could let parents spot it earlier by letting them monitor children’s online activity, calls and texts. ‘It wouldn’t replace education, but this could be a good idea for young children,’ he said.

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