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What is stalkerware?

Stalkerware refers to tools – software programs, apps and devices – that enable someone to secretly spy on another person’s private life via their mobile device. The abuser can remotely monitor the whole device including web searches, geolocation, text messages, photos, voice calls and much more. Such programs are easy to buy and install. They run hidden in the background, without the affected person knowing or giving their consent. Regardless of stalkerware’s availability, the abuser is accountable for using it as a tool and hence for committing this crime.

If you want to learn more about stalkerware, we recommend watching our explainer video as a starting point.


The issue of stalkerware

Stalkerware is an example of how technology may facilitate abuse such as partner surveillance, gender-based and domestic violence, harassment and more. In recent years, the problem of stalkerware has been on the rise globally. Non-profit organizations report a growing number of survivors are seeking help with stalkerware, and cybersecurity companies are detecting a consistent increase in these harmful apps.


Fighting against stalkerware

The Coalition Against Stalkerware was founded in November 2019 in response to the growing threat of stalkerware. With the purpose of fighting against technology facilitated abuse, the initiative aims to unite both organizations that work to combat domestic violence and the IT security community.

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