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Google's App Store is profiting from apps on sale which allows perpetrators of domestic abuse to spy on their partners
Google's App Store is profiting from apps on sale which allows perpetrators of domestic abuse to spy on their partners.
So-called 'tracking' apps are thought to be in use against over 10,000 women in the UK alone. Google's App Store has over 3,000 spy apps on its service, whilst Apple's App Store hosts around 500 of these.
These apps can provide perpetrators with details of victims':
All of this allows for 24 hour surveillance on an individual - in many cases without them even knowing.
For some apps, perpetrators pay a monthly fee to get all of these features, some even offering a 'Platinum' package for this surveillance to be completely covert, with Google taking a cut of this monthly subscription from the app developer.
Last year, the Suzy Lamplugh Trust revealed that 1.6% of stalking victims (= 10,000) were aware of a tracking app being used on them. This figure is expected to be much higher, as many are unaware that they are being tracked in this way.
While many of the apps were advertised as parental monitoring apps for children's devices, many are instead used by people to spy on their current or ex partners.
Google has now removed the apps from lists for abuse-related searches; and some of the apps for violating its policy. However, many of the apps are still in use.