A Brazilian app that women use to monitor their boyfriend's texts and movements has been banned from the Google Play app store after men complained that it constitutes an invasion of privacy, and even may—this is a shocker—be used as a tool for stalking.
The app is called "Boyfriend Tracker." It promises to act like a "private detective in your partner's pocket," and, yes, it requires a certain amount of espionage to work: While you're in the shower or suffering a dump without the iPhone, your girlfriend installs the app on your phone. (It's sneakily labeled: "Boyfriend Tracker.") From there, she has NSA-like power over your texts, and she can follow a GPS system that alerts her if you're, say, hitting up the Scores buffet for Sunday brunch. She can even force the target phone to silently call her own, allowing her the chance to listen in on any conversation that occurs. This was, I think, a plot point in the last 30 minutes of The Dark Knight.
Does this all sound like a frighteningly domestic version of the NSA's surveillance program? OF COURSE NOT, says its Brazilian defenders.
"Brazilians are a jealous people, what can I say? Of course it's going to be popular," said 47-year-old divorced woman Marcia Almeida. "It's a different type of spying. You're checking up on somebody you know intimately, not some stranger."
(My head hurts.)
Unfortunately, while "Boyfriend Tracker" has been banned, it represents just the tip of the surveillance app iceberg. Similar technology exists in both the Google and iTunes stores. The apps are not expressly defined as ways to stalk boyfriends—most are designed for parents to keep up with their teens' behavior, says Fox News—but what's stopping "Teen Tracker" from becoming Boyfriend Tracker 2.0? Only the relative craziness of your girlfriend.