I was fascinated to read in the Times at the weekend how many new apps are on the market to those worried about divorce with the potential to hide the user’s infidelity.
Names like Spy Phone, Vaulty Stocks or BlackBook app provide a rather racy indication to their purpose for anyone wishing to snoop on their partner unawares, or conduct behaviour behind their back that might otherwise strain their relationship.
According to the Times one of the apps, Call and Text Eraser (CATE), is even marketed with the strapline: ‘Save your marriage — everyone deserves privacy’. It apparently conceals call logs and texts between the phone user and another party, which can be retrieved by calling a pre-set number.
There have been previous studies which suggest that using Facebook is damaging to a relationship, and that married people who use the site regularly are more likely to divorce.
In April, I came across a similar claim that Twitter use could increase instances of divorce. This accords with a trend often reported here on the blog that social media has led to an increase in ‘digital infidelity’.
As I said in the Times piece, people can get very distressed in these situations. Sometimes in their desire to “need to know” what their spouse is up to, they do not appreciate that becoming involved in the clandestine surveillance of their partner, perhaps by intercepting data, may potentially be committing an offence.
It is not necessary to go to great lengths to establish that a marriage has irretrievably broken down, in order to obtain a divorce, and certainly never necessary to risk committing a crime in the process. If in doubt, always take legal advice.
Privacy is very important. Using such apps to spy on a partner could cause more problems than they reveal.
There is a huge difference between needing to know what your partner is up to and the proof that is required by law. You’ll be happier if you stay off the apps.