According to this article, the Japanese company Manuscript is being forced to modify their app, Boyfriend Log. The app was designed so that people could track their significant other through their phone.
The app would run invisibly in the background of any Android phone. It would use the built in GPS of the phone to relay current position to their website so that you could see where your spouse, or anyone with the app installed, was at anytime.
That’s not all it could do though. It would also relay other information, such as apps downloaded, and battery status. If you pay for a platinum membership, you could even get a call log.
The main issue raised with this app is the fact that it runs in the background without the user knowing. ‘Girlfriends’ are encouraged to instal it on their significant other’s phone without them knowing, and they would never even know that they have it running on their phone. In response to these concerns, the company now has an icon that appears on the phone when it is running, however all of it’s features are still the same.
Image taken from the official website is here, though it’s entirely in Japanese. This was translated using Google Chrome. To get around legal concerns, it looks like the app requires you to get the users consent before you install the app on their phone. We all know how easy it would be to forge consent on an app like this.
What do you think? Should it be legal to install these on someone’s phone, even with the icon? How easy do you think it would be to hack their site and get the locations and information from all it’s users?