page menu

Archive | Software

Is Phone Spy Software Really Legal

Have you noticed a lot of talk lately about people using cell phone spy software? It is definitely becoming popular and I wanted to clear up some questions around the legality of this software. Spy software on cell phones is indeed perfectly legal to sell and use in certain specific circumstances.

The problem lies in how it is used, by unscrupulous people. Advertisements don’t help – going for misleading headlines like spying on your Ex or catching your cheating spouse, to lure you in but add disclaimers and other legal jargon to protect the company from legal action. Thankfully things are changing and some of the better companies now focus on the legal uses for spy software. Today’s spy software focuses more on legal and legitimate ways to use the program, check out this website Acisni for examples of good legitimate spy software programs – and how to use it properly.

While the attitudes of some companies may have changed the disclaimers remain the same. The disclaimers are there becauselegal questions no matter how much these companies tell you to do the right thing there is someone willing to do the wrong thing. The company should not be at fault for people’s negligence, and they want to protect themselves from ending up in a legal situation. Their strategic disclaimers make sure that does not happen.

The legal situation is about privacy laws. There are individual privacy laws, government privacy laws and law enforcement privacy laws and all of them use a different set of rules. The law varies between countries, regions and cities so it is never straightforward. Individual privacy laws may not count as much as government and law enforcement privacy laws in the eyes of the court. People need to stick to the basic privacy laws so they will be safe from prosecution – if you follow carefully what is mentioned in the disclaimers you should be safe. There are certain conditions to keeping legal, they are as follows:

  1. You must own or have the legal rights to the cell phone you want to monitor. (You pay the bills)
  2. You must let the user of the cell phone know that the phone is being monitored if they are an adult

In other words the cell phone of interest must be owned by you or you must be the one to pay the cell phone bill. So when you purchase the other party’s cell phone you cannot monitor it without their knowledge. That’s not how the system works. This will backfire because the courts can argue that you bought the phone just to spy on them. That hurts your chances of winning. That is why using spy software on cell phones and having legal authority over the cell phone is a grey area. But the second privacy law of notifying them makes the situation much clearer.

The best way to use the cell phone without legal action is the following:

  • Monitoring children’s cell phones under 18
  • Monitoring work cell phones employees use. Companies can do this if they tell their employees the phone will be monitored. Have this discussion in a meeting and in writing, before allowing workers to use them.

There are no exceptions. If you do use spy software illegally any evidence you uncover cannot be used in court. It doesn’t matter if you catch them admitting or doing something that will get you off the hook; you can’t use it. Plus, you will most likely end up in the courts yourself for invasion of privacy. Stick to the legal ways to monitor and you will be safe and remember the penalties can be severe.

So is spy software legal? Yes, but it is the way you use it that will make it illegal. Think before you act.


Great Site for Finding and Comparing Software

I want to share with you a great site I use for finding and comparing software programs. This one is a real gem, it’s free, easy-to-use and I think you’ll find it really useful. This is part of my Cool Websites section where I give a quick run down of some of the sites I find useful. Check this one out:

Great name for a site – the original idea behind the site was to provide somewhere where you could find an alternative to – whatever software. It’s great for that but it has grown into much more. Say you have a software program that you’re not quite happy with, you can type the name into the search bar and it will show up all of the alternatives available.
finding and comparing software site

There Is More

As I said as the site has grown to be huge it has become much more useful. Not only the range of software available but you can search it on a number of ways. You can search by category for example DVD software, utilities, video players etc. You can also filter the results in a number of ways.

You can set the filters just above the results – see the screenshot below. Hit the drop-down boxes and filter by popularity, by license – free, open source or commercial and by platform – windows, Mac etc.
This makes searching and comparing very quick and easy.

AlternativeTo Screenshot
The popularity ratings are good too. They have a likes system where users get to rate the software and you can browse the most popular software available. I must confess to looking at some and thinking – This is very popular and I don’t have it – what is it?

When you find something you are interested in there is a quick rundown description. If you click on “more” it will give you more details when you scroll down including a link to the developer where you can download the software.

What’s Cool?

This site just works! It makes searching for software quick and easy and provides enough information without getting blinded by the technical details. All the information you need is presented in one place with easy links to more. This site will save you a lot of time searching online and looking through forums for user recommendations.

Check them out and search around using the filters – you might just find something you must have!