The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has banned the stalkerware service SpyFone and its CEO from surveillance business. FTC took this step over allegations of malicious practices by the company, such as stealth data harvesting.
FTC Banned SpyFone And Its CEO
In a recent press release, FTC has revealed banning the stalkerware app SpyFone for good. Also, FTC has banned SpyFone’s CEO from surveillance business as the company allegedly employed malicious cybersecurity practices.
As elaborated, SpyFone sneakily harvested users’ data and sold real-time access to the target users’ devices. The app also posed a threat since it typically favored the hackers to install apps on target users’ devices secretly.
…the stalkerware app company secretly harvested and shared data on people’s physical movements, phone use, and online activities through a hidden device hack. The company’s apps sold real-time access to their secret surveillance, allowing stalkers and domestic abusers to stealthily track the potential targets of their violence. SpyFone’s lack of basic security also exposed device owners to hackers, identity thieves, and other cyber threats.
FTC also alleges that the company didn’t take adequate security steps following a 2018 data breach. SpyFone failed to involve any cybersecurity firm or law enforcement over the breach that affected 2200 customers despite promising to investigate the matter.
Moreover, SpyFone didn’t employ security measures to protect the harvested data. Yet, the service kept extracting and saving sensitive information from the users’ devices.
Alongside banning the stalkerware business, FTC has also summoned the firm to delete all illegally harvested data. Furthermore, SpyFone must also inform users of compromised devices about the secret installation of the app and the data extraction.
Commenting about, Samuel Levine, Acting Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, stated,
This case is an important reminder that surveillance-based businesses pose a significant threat to our safety and security. We will be aggressive about seeking surveillance bans when companies and their executives egregiously invade our privacy.
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