The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently announced a ban on the stalkerware company SpyFone and ordered them to delete all of the data they had illegally harvested from victims. Additionally, they banned the company’s CEO, Scott Zuckerman, from working in the surveillance industry ever again and ordered the company to notify everyone who had the app installed on their phone.
“I think that this is a sign that the FTC is getting more serious about this kind of abuse,” Eva Galperin, Director of Cybersecurity at the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), a founding member of the Coalition Against Stalkerware, tells Avast. “And I’m really glad to see them calling out stalkerware and the company’s CEO in such a direct way.”
According to the FTC press release on the ruling, SpyFone (which is registered as Support King LLC) sold stalkerware apps that allowed people to surreptitiously monitor other people’s devices. The monitoring could include messages, photos, web histories, GPS locations, and other personal information. The company also provided instructions on how to install their apps without the device owner’s knowledge.