Where Do We Go From Here? Stalkerware, Spouseware, and What We Should Do About It

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Powerful surveillance software for everyday use tune in our calls, text messages, real-time GPS location or encrypted messaging apps like WhatsApp. These capabilities can afford dramatic powers & control over an individual's everyday life. Surveillance apps for private purposes are routinely linked to identity theft, physical injuries, sexual harassment, extortion & child abuse, among others. Some are marketed as ways for employers to monitor the movements of their workers, or for parents to check electronically on the whereabouts of their children. Others promise to help you to reveal infidelity. However, the same malicious software with an aim to monitor & control a targeted person is being also sold to the governments.

Where do the tech community, the police, & the policymakers stand on the issue of deployment of surveillance apps for private purposes?

How are such products used by the governments?

Is the usage of such software legal?

And, lastly, how do you safeguard yourself against an attack?