N.J. lawmaker wants to ban ‘stalking apps’

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A New Jersey lawmaker wants to ban the use of what are known as “‘stalking apps” that can secretly monitor text messages, emails, and phone calls — and even track your location.

The programs are often marketed as harmless applications that can be used to catch an unfaithful partner, but they can cause problems.

Sen. Nia Gill said the app can be installed on your phone and monitor your activities without your knowledge.

“It’s tapping into your phone, but it’s really tapping into your life, your thoughts, your emails, your chats, your identity, your banking — everything,” said Gill, D-Essex.

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The app also allows remote activation of a cellphone’s microphone, allowing an eavesdropper to listen to everything said. The app enables violent offenders to stalk a victim, Gill said.

Her bill would make installation and use of those programs, unless prior consent of their use is given,  an unlawful form of eavesdropping punishable by three to five years in prison and fines of as much as $15,000.

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