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With the mSpy app it is possible to monitor the cell phone activities of others on Android as well as on the iPhone. MSpy is advertised as "parental monitoring software" with which parents can monitor the smartphone or tablet use of their children. In addition to messenger messages, SMS, call lists, web history and the like, the movement of people can also be tracked via GPS. The question naturally arises: is that legal? Can you use mSpy to monitor another cell phone? We clarify that in this guide.
If you want to install mSpy as a spy app on an Android smartphone or tablet or on an Apple iPhone or iPad, you need physical access to the device. Of course, you not only have to hold it in your hands, but also be able to unlock it in order to install the mSpy software. Listening to someone else's cell phone from a distance is therefore not possible (without illegal hacking).
If access is not possible, then you shouldn't even think about using the app. From a legal point of view, you need the consent of the user, because reading out cell phone activities is - as you can probably imagine - without consent, a strong invasion of privacy, violates data protection and is therefore punished as a criminal offense.
But if you have the consent, then you install the app and can now track all actions via a dashboard on your device. To do this, you log in with the linked mSpy login on your smartphone, tablet or computer. You can access the information and data listed below.
When monitoring another smartphone or tablet with mSpy, you have access to the information, data and apps listed below. In addition to simply reading out information, you also have the option of blocking contacts, blocking websites and setting up similar restrictions (primarily aimed at parents who want to keep their children away from certain content). These are the core features of mSpy:
Superficially, the mSpy offer is aimed at parents who want to monitor and control what content the child consumes, receives and shares via the smartphone. Of course, the developers will also be aware that the app is used to spy on spouses or employees. It should also be clear that this is illegal without consent.
And even when monitoring the children with the mSpy app, you are at most in the gray area. Because children also have their own privacy and a right to it. The permanent monitoring of all areas of use of end devices does not replace any information about how to use the technology or real media competence.
Spying on their cell phone without the child's knowledge is also a major breach of trust. If you top up this, you can also directly create a savings account for the family therapy that is due later. If that is not the case, you have to talk to your child about the use and scope of the intervention by mSpy.
Sensible alternative: Book tips on media literacy for children and young people
To sum it up again: Reading and reading from devices that are not your own / that you do not use alone is illegal per se. It only becomes legal if you fully inform the user (child, spouse, employee, etc.) about it and give their express consent. Clarification without consent is to be seen as a rejection and also makes surveillance illegal.
This includes the entire catalog of information that you request via mSpy or similar solutions - i.e. browser history, social media content, SMS, calls, photos, videos, etc. If you do not clarify this or if you do not receive consent, then you are acting illegally and can be legally prosecuted for the offense. Not to be forgotten is the loss of trust on the part of the monitored person.
If your child or another person agrees, for whatever reason, that you can read all possible information from their device, mSpy is of course not free. Instead of listening to a free app on your mobile phone, you get various subscription offers. These currently look like this (information without guarantee; changes possible):
All details, additional features, a demo that shows you how to use mSpy, the option of booking a subscription and downloading the software can be found with this link. When using it, consider the legal aspects, data protection and the fact that other people deserve their privacy despite your caution / curiosity.
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Jens has been running the blog since 2012. He appears as Sir Apfelot for his readers and helps them with problems of a technical nature. In his free time he drives electric unicycles, takes photos (preferably with his iPhone, of course), climbs around in the Hessian mountains or hikes with the family. His articles deal with Apple products, news from the world of drones or solutions for current bugs.