Already On Watch: MSpy Monitoring Software Preloaded on Some Phones

3/14/14Follow @jpruth

It just got a bit easier to snoop on some smartphones.

MSpy, a developer of communication monitoring technology, said Wednesday it is selling smartphones preloaded with its software. Available models include the iPhone 5s, Samsung Galaxy S4, Nexus 5, and HTC One.

The startup’s software can be used to track phones’ activities, including voice calls, e-mails, text messages, and the location of the user. Furthermore, a person using mSpy to monitor phones can restrict access to certain apps, websites, and incoming calls. Co-founder Andrei Shimanovich had said a literal big brother might use it to keep tabs on a younger sibling or a manager at a company could use it to see if employees are divulging company secrets. The software must first be installed to start spying.

This news comes after mSpy, headquartered in London, recently brought some of its operations to New York. When the co-founders first came up with mSpy, concerned family members were the target audience. Now the startup has its eyes on confidentiality-minded businesses that issue company phones to employees.

The startup’s website warns folks who plan to monitor phone activity it is their responsibility to let others know they are being tracked (and to comply with local privacy laws). However, the software can run in stealth without alerting the person on the phone that they are being tracked.

João-Pierre S. Ruth is the editor of Xconomy New York. He can be reached at jpruth@xconomy.com and followed on Twitter @jpruth. Follow @jpruth

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