FTC bans spyware app SpyFone, orders it to delete illegally harvested data

Kim Lyons

The Verge

The FTC has voted to ban SpyFone | Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

On Wednesday, the Federal Trade Commission announced it had banned spyware maker SpyFone and its CEO Scott Zuckerman from the surveillance business. The commission called SpyFone a “stalkerware app company” that allegedly harvested and shared data about people’s movements, phone use, and online activity via 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,” the FTC said in a statement. “SpyFone’s lack of basic security also exposed device owners to hackers, identity thieves, and other cyber threats.”

In addition to the ban, the FTC ordered SpyFone to delete illegally harvested data and notify...

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