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The story of the man who used an Apple Watch to perfectly spy on his ex-girlfriend

A 19-year-old man was arrested over the weekend on charges of hiding a Apple Watch in the vehicle of his ex-partner’s car to track his every move. The incident occurred in Tennessee, United States and is one more example of how technology is sometimes used to stalk or monitor people.

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The watch was hidden in one of the wheels of the woman’s car. An officer from a family security center reported that the man had followed the woman to that place, where she had gone precisely to request a restraining order against her former partner.

The man already had two charges for domestic violence and his former partner was trying to get a measure to get him away. Following the complaint, police arrived at the scene and found the man crouched by the woman’s passenger side door.

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When confronted by the authorities, he admitted that he had hidden the Apple Watch in one of the front wheels of the woman’s vehicle. and used it to track their movements. As a result of this, a lawsuit was filed accusing him of placing an electronic tracking system in the vehicle.

According to research published in February 2021about 35% and 46% of the adults surveyed say they have been victims of cyber bullyingwhich refers to the use of mobile devices or other forms of technology to harass or stalk a victim.

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There are harassment complaints referring to the use of AirTags for that purpose. This technology was developed by Apple as a tool to make the task of finding lost objects easier: the disc, which is just over 30 millimeters in diameter, can be attached to almost any surface to keep any object “at hand”. However, this device has also been used to harass people.

As a result of this situation, Apple made some updates to make it more difficult to use this system to harass or track other people without consent. The company built in a feature that makes the AirTag play a loud sound if it’s not near the owner’s phone, to work as an alert system.

On the other hand, the computer giant has a guide with some recommendations and configuration tips to take care of the privacy of computers specifically designed for those who believe they may be victims of harassment.

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It should be noted that there is a large amount of software that is used specifically to do this type of unauthorized tracking.. These kinds of programs are known as stalkerware. In addition to how controversial this type of system is, many of these applications contain vulnerabilities that expose the privacy and security of those who are spied on and also of those who spy.

Applications of this type have become increasingly popular in recent years, as security researchers have reported on more than one occasion. Stalkerware can monitor a victim’s device’s GPS location, conversations, images, browser history, and more. It also stores and transmits all this data.

Physical access to the victim’s device is usually required to install this type of content. To avoid being identified as stalkerware and stay under the radar, providers of these applications often label them as protection for children, partners or employees, however, the word “spy” is also used many times on websites.

It should be noted that Google Play has a security measure that prohibits spy apps on its digital store. However, sometimes monitoring apps are downloaded outside the official store, through an APK, so, despite this restriction, people who install this type of content achieve their goal using other means. In turn, in some cases, as mentioned above, are masked as supposed applications of another kindas protection and care for children, for example.

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