Technology

Google Play Pulls 'Boyfriend Tracker' App for Smartphones

| by Michael Allen
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Tens of thousands of Brazilians have downloaded a so-called "Boyfriend Tracker" app for their smartphones, but the app was removed from the Google Play app store last week, possibly because of privacy complaints.

However, Google spokeswoman Gina Johnson said Google will not specify why apps are removed.

The app is actually called “Rastreador de Namorados," which is Portuguese for "Boyfriend Tracker," and acts like a miniature National Security Agency.

According to the Associated Press, the app tracks your partner's location and forwards you copies of your partner's text traffic. The app can also make your partner's phone silently call your phone so that you can listen in on what your loved one is saying.

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Just setting up the app takes some sneakiness. Partners have to download the app then covertly get their loved one's smartphone and upload the app to his or her phone. Then they must pay $2 a month to get the app's icon not to show up on their lover's phone. A free version leaves the icon, which would defeat the purpose.

Some say the app could be used for stalking, but there are similar apps offered by Google Play that are used by parents who want to monitor their teen's phones.

Matheus Grijo, creator of the Boyfriend Tracker, said the app is still available from his website and includes the legal disclaimer "for social and recreational use."

The website also says that someone installing the app on their partner's phone should do so "with his consent."

"I've had three steady girlfriends until now but I've never had these kinds of issues," Grijo said.

Source; Associated Press and Rastreadordenamorado.com