Domestic abuse shelters across the country are seeing a disturbing trend: victims of abuse discovering their partner installed secret surveillance software on their phones to surreptitiously record their calls and track their location.

The software is cheap and easy to install. A simple google search reveals dozens of options for tracking your partner.

โ€œHarperโ€ left her husband two years ago, and towards the end of their three decade relationship, she says he secretly installed software on her phone that tracked her location, read her text messages and recorded her calls.

VICE News disguised her identity because she is still afraid of her ex-husband. A 2016 Government Accountability Office report identified more than 40 apps that can secretly track phone activity. Many of these apps are marketed to parents who want to track their children.

Liz Ortenberger runs SafeNest, a Las Vegas domestic violence shelter that provides counseling and other services to forty-five thousand victims a year.

โ€œWhat we assume is that everything is tracked,โ€ Ortenberger told VICE News.

People who install these apps onto their spouse’s phone are typically in violation of three laws: the federal wiretapping statute, the Computer Fraud and Abuse act, and the federal stalking statute. But prosecution is rare, at least in part because detection is rare and difficult.

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39 Comments

aml · September 16, 2018 at 3:02 pm

First

pianpore · September 16, 2018 at 3:02 pm

Touching.

aml · September 16, 2018 at 3:03 pm

Kinda of bad video to get first, but first!!!!

Jeremy Davis · September 16, 2018 at 3:04 pm

Niggas do anything but leave like damn

racingsponga · September 16, 2018 at 3:06 pm

The real vegas

Robert Hubbard · September 16, 2018 at 3:06 pm

Oh no, track-a-hoor, if you ain't got nothing to hide……oh ya we are talking about women, whore on

Alice Borealis · September 16, 2018 at 3:07 pm

The digital era allows people to be extra creepy. Poor lady now has to live her life like a spy, worried like constantly that something like her car or phone is bugged.

Roxanne Higa · September 16, 2018 at 3:08 pm

Too you know. Money. This don't good video.

Roxanne Higa · September 16, 2018 at 3:09 pm

F********************video

Roxanne Higa · September 16, 2018 at 3:09 pm

๐Ÿ˜ˆ๐Ÿ‘ฟ๐Ÿ˜ˆ๐Ÿ‘ฟ๐Ÿ˜ˆ๐Ÿ‘ฟ๐Ÿ˜ˆ๐Ÿ‘Ž

Roxanne Higa · September 16, 2018 at 3:09 pm

Video.

Nez Mars · September 16, 2018 at 3:12 pm

Poor lady. She just wanted to be a slut without having to answer for it!

Danny Amos · September 16, 2018 at 3:13 pm

Omg its a white male.

Gustav Much · September 16, 2018 at 3:13 pm

T H O T P A T R O L L E D

asdsaffafasdsa · September 16, 2018 at 3:15 pm

Thanks for the tips VICE!

peter white · September 16, 2018 at 3:15 pm

I think it all right to track children and I'm a child. But not your girlfriend or girlfriends if you're that weird

Hazzard0 · September 16, 2018 at 3:15 pm

Are iphone users more protected than android users?

โ€ข SHAMANTIMEWAVE โ€ข · September 16, 2018 at 3:17 pm

She just needs a new phone, and maybe some self-esteem.

Tullock · September 16, 2018 at 3:18 pm

Theyre showing us how easily it is to track someone on your own accord. Imagine what the government has and can do now.

FitnessBusiness Success · September 16, 2018 at 3:20 pm

DRUMPF DID THIS, IMPEACH!!!!

iNDI boi · September 16, 2018 at 3:21 pm

How to safeguard against this?

Cam Good · September 16, 2018 at 3:22 pm

I can't believe that there are apps like this. It's horrifying that there is such a user-friendly package that has the capability of spying on nearly every aspect of a person's daily life..

Centrist · September 16, 2018 at 3:23 pm

What about male domestic abuse victims? About two in five of all victims of domestic violence are men. Men assaulted by their partners are often ignored by police, see their attacker go free and have far fewer refuges to flee to than women. Get your shit together Vice, you should be reporting this…sexist much.

jnixongo00 · September 16, 2018 at 3:24 pm

My ex wives did this shit to me

22grena · September 16, 2018 at 3:26 pm

Abuse is not just men on woman. Woman are just far better at hiding it because their abuse is not physical. BTW we all have tracking devices on our phones. Its nothing special.

jnixongo00 · September 16, 2018 at 3:26 pm

Don't get married no relationships

Professor Sweetmeat · September 16, 2018 at 3:28 pm

It might be better going back to Morse code and / or carrier pigeons

Mr. Devil's Advocate. · September 16, 2018 at 3:28 pm

I bet she cheated on him first and then tried to steal half his shit with the divorce settlement. I'd like to hear the dudes side of the story.

diane gonzalez · September 16, 2018 at 3:31 pm

Yah OK real shocker here!!,here's the best they keep charging your card so you are actually paying for it. It's not just spouses!!๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ

hfredydl · September 16, 2018 at 3:35 pm

These apps should be illegal

Trace 921 · September 16, 2018 at 3:36 pm

Scary world we live in

fish and banana · September 16, 2018 at 3:42 pm

you wont have this problem with a blackberry.

Circe · September 16, 2018 at 3:47 pm

I'm shocked by how many people in comment section blaming the woman for not having self-esteem or buying a new phone, then justifying why it is ok to spy on women because they are whores and they need to be controlled.
Who are these people?? Can somebody tell me?

Cooler Cooler · September 16, 2018 at 3:48 pm

If I want to abuse my girlfriend all I have to do is strip down to my underwear and watch cartoons on TV

Lemmegetamuhfckin UHHH · September 16, 2018 at 3:49 pm

If you have an iPhone open Settings>privacy>analytics>analytics data – and check out the code in bug reports or any file that sounds fishy… youโ€™ll be surprised what you find

GrantAugustus1 · September 16, 2018 at 3:54 pm

True.

steeve steeve · September 16, 2018 at 3:55 pm

3:12 hey stop it!!

GrantAugustus1 · September 16, 2018 at 3:57 pm

If it was me YES I WOULD WORRY ABOUT IF MY WIFE IS OK BUT I WOULD NEVER TRACK HER NO WAY!!! EVEN IF I HAD WIFE I DOUBT I KNOW WHERE HER PHONE IS AT!!!

matty · September 16, 2018 at 3:57 pm

3:34 not only this motherfucker uses bing he looks up women being burned by hot coffee at mcdonalds lol

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