When is it okay to spy on someone? It’s a tough ethical question, and recent technology developments have made it even tougher. I don’t have all the answers, so it is with caution that I mention Mobile Spy. As the name implies, it provides tracking services for many devices, and that now includes BlackBerry. If you have suspicions that someone close to you is acting inappropriately, you can install the software on his or her phone. It will reveal just about everything except recordings of voice calls. The question, of course, is of when this an acceptable action and when it is represents an ethical violation.
- Call logs. This includes incoming and outgoing calls. Mobile Spy records the phone numbers, durations of calls, and time stamps.
- Text messages. Even if the user deletes a text message immediately upon sending or receiving, Mobile Spy records the sender and recipient, the time, and the content of the message.
- GPS location. If the phone has a GPS unit, Mobile Spy will log location every 30 minutes.
The application is free when you sign up for a service plan. It costs $49.97 for three months, $69.97 for six months, and $99.97 for a year. You can find out more at Mobile Spy’s BlackBerry page. There are also links there with more legal information. I can see how this application is useful — very much so — but I cannot emphasize the ethical issues enough. Thankfully, Mobile Spy answers far more questions than I can.