Uh Oh! There's A 'Boyfriend Tracker' App?!
Watch your phones (and don't be shady!)! A "boyfriend tracking" mobile app is all the rage in Brazil--but, like, actual rage. So much rage that complaints have caused Google to delete it from their app store.
But it's still available for purchase...
The app, called "Rastreador de Namorados" (Portuguese for Boyfriend Tracker), promises to act like a "private detective in your partner's pocket."
Functions include sending the person doing the tracking updates on their partner's location and forwarding duplicates of text message traffic from the targeted phone. There is even a command that allows a user to force the target phone to silently call their own, like a pocket dial, so they can listen in on what the person is saying.
Critics say even as advertised, apps like Boyfriend Tracker can violate privacy rights, and they warn that in the wrong hands they could be used for more sinister purposes, like stalking.
Matheus Grijo, a 24-year-old Sao Paulo-based developer behind Boyfriend Tracker, says it has attracted around 50,000 users since its launch about two months ago, most since the site began attracting media attention two weeks ago.
Grijo insists his lawyer vetted the app and determined it does not violate any Brazilian laws. Despite being removed by Google, it is still available via direct download from his company's website.
A disclaimer on that website stipulates the app is for "social and recreational use" and absolves the developer of responsibility for any misuse. The first line of the download instructions says a woman installing the tracker on her boyfriend's phone should do so "with his consent."
To install Boyfriend Tracker, suspicious partners have to get their hands on their loved one's smartphones and upload the app. A free version leaves the app's icon visible on the target's phone, while a version that costs $2 a month masks the icon.
How long until an app like this becomes prevalent in the United States?
Or is it already....