How greatly do you value your privacy? No, this is not a question meant to elicit a response. We often say that we value our privacy, especially online, but then we go and use services such as Facebook. Where I’m sure you do value your privacy, though, is in your personal communications — that is, the stuff you do on your phone. But it was only a matter of time before someone developed an app that would allow someone to tap into that stuff as well. This week a service called Flexispy has been making some waves. It’s not all bad — and, in fact, it has some privacy enhancing features. But people will focus on the privacy infringement aspects. As well they should. The one-paragraph summary: Flexispy allows you to, in essence, intercept a phone’s communications. It starts with the Light tier, which delivers SMS, email, and call logs from any phone on which the app is installed. The Pro version allows you to remotely control the phone’s mic, so you’re basically bugging them. The Pro-X version takes it to insane levels, allowing you to listen to actual phone calls and activate a mobile GPS tracker. This might seem a bit scary — maybe not to you, the savvy Android user who could probably detect the software running on his or her device. But it’s certainly a scary proposition for the population at large. Still, I’m not too worried. It’s really the pricing that has me thinking that this isn’t going to be a big deal. For starters, the Light tier is pretty overpriced. Android Spy is less than half the price and it’s a one-time fee. With software such as that available I’m not sure how many people would pay $150/year for SMS, email, and call log monitoring. Plus, if you can install the software on someone’s phone, you can just check their SMS, email, and call logs anyway. The only way that doesn’t work is if they’re savvy enough to delete them immediately. That moves us to the $250/year tier, which allows you to basically use an Android as a bug. Yet there are other ways to do this, too. Maybe doing it through a phone is more convenient, since it requires no additional hardware. But it’s not as though this type of stuff doesn’t go on for people who want it, and who are willing to pay $250 per year. The top tier does get a bit scary, since I’m not sure of other services that can so easily tap cell phone calls. But if someone is paying $350 per year to keep tabs on you, well, chances are you’re doing something wrong. That’s not to excuse the service. I wouldn’t use it myself, and I think it walks a fine ethical line. But unless it is proven unlawful I won’t rail against its existence. Humans have been spying on one another since we realized that we could. This is just the next step. Yes, its covertness and its ease of use does make for a particularly convenient platform. But it’s still espionage, and it still happened before you got an Android. I do recommend checking out at Flexispy.com. Make sure, too, to read the FAQ.