Posted by & filed under Apple, Cyberforensics, EXAM ARTICLE, FaceBook, IS ethics, Privacy, Security.

Description: Welcome to iCheers, where everybody knows your whereabouts. Both Apple and Foursquare are offering new tools for iOS5 that will let us know where our friends are at all times.


Date: Oct 17, 2011

Late Saturday night, “ThomasMetz” posted to MacRumors (via 9to5Mac) about how he turned his wife’s iPhone into a spyPhone:

I got my wife a new 4s and loaded up find my friends without her knowing. She told me she was at her friends house in the east village. I’ve had suspicions about her meeting this guy who live [sic] uptown. Lo and behold, Find my Friends has her right there.

via Divorcing wife. Thanks iPhone 4s and Find My Friends – MacRumors ForumsREAD REST OF STORY

Questions for discussion:

  1. Will being given technology tools that make law-enforcement-style surveillance so easy a baby could do it transform us (more than Facebook already has) into a society of spies?

Will we start expecting our friends to be part of our locati

19 Responses to “Did The iPhone’s ‘Find My Friends’ Already Out A Cheating Wife?”

  1. Christopher Rush

    This is HUGE! The ramifications of being able to track one another outweigh the possible benefits this wide spread technology could provide. Before I get into that, I think it’s appropriate to know that technology moves so fast these days that even our legal systems can’t keep up. This means that the use or misuse of such tools has little regulation or enforceable consequence as it is unprecedented. Passing laws moves at the speed of molasses versus technology, relative to most legal systems, moves quicker that cheetah on crack. The first question we need to consider regarding this tech is why do we need it? I think most people would be hard pressed to justify the need to track their contacts. If someone decides they need this application, the next consideration should regard the motivations (purposes) to use it. From a general perspective on this, I can only think of one positive use for ‘find my friends’ and that is to find missing persons. Anything else I would consider stalking and unwelcomed. This is not the only trend like this (Facebook), and we must ask ourselves one question. Do we want to embrace a culture, by embracing certain technologies, which virtually eliminates privacy and individualism? At this rate, our thoughts will not even be private from our “friends”. How can we be individuals if we have no privacy?

  2. Regan Smiley

    The way information technology has changed in the past years really is a remarkable thing! We go from basic cellphones that have the ability to text and make phone calls to walking around with phones that are basically mini computers, and now apparently have the ability to track your cheating wife! Of course not all situations with the find my friend app will be this intense but it’s a pretty interesting thing to think about. Already with the likes of facebook and twitter we basically know where our friends are and what they are doing at all times. The fact of the matter is, people will post blogs on facebook and twitter telling the world how they feel and what they are doing when most of us really don’t care. But there are those out there who really want to see what everyone is doing and saying at all times of the day. These are the people who will really get a kick out of the find my friend ap. Personally I don’t need to know where all my friends are at all times of the day. I can wait and find out when they want me to find out. I’m sure not everyone will use this application for a spying motive but there will be those weirdos out there who will. If you’re in a relationship with someone you need to track without them knowing perhaps it’s time to re-evaluate your romantic life!

  3. Sam Chen

    This is a very interested topic. Did The iPhone’s ‘Find My Friends’ Already Out A Cheating Wife? I would say IPhone’s “Find My Friends” just a software that offer a channel to make friends. However, there are always some people like to use some proper thing/software/law to gain some improper benefit. (distort the purpose) For example, almost every banks offer a service called online banking which can make all process (deposit/transfer) easier and faster and this process has to pass through internet. This can make some people (hacker) hack the website or insert some spyware to gain improper/illegal benefit. For this example, the banks just want to offer an easier and fast channel to do all the bank process for all people, but there are some people distort the meaning/purpose of offering this channel. (People change their deposit/transfer money way from paper to electric, than why should I take this as an advantage for a hacker) As a result, this (electric crime) is like a disadvantage of developing technology. Technology bring convenient to people, but it also bring convenient to bad people. Hence, the most important for technology is the using way. Clearly, the world can be better, if people can use every resource in right/proper way.

  4. Breanne Marton

    I think this will definitely transform our society. Everyone will feel that they are entitled to know everyone’s locations all the time. We already see on facebook and twitter lots of individuals uploading and tweeting their locations and what they’re doing at that exact moment, by having an application that can do this for us, we won’t have to worry about posting our newest locations or what we’re doing because our friends will already know where we are. I think this technology will cause many problems in our society since everyone will know exactly where everyone is. If someone lies about their location to a spouse or even a friend this will cause major issues in the relationships as well as cause trust issues throughout society.
    We will expect our friends to all have this application loaded to their phones. Just as we all expect our friends to be on facebook so we can be kept up to date what their doing, we will want/need to have their location constantly available as a way of “keeping up to date” as well. This will lead to spying of our friends more so than what we already have. However, I don’t know how many people will actually make the effort to physically go to the place that their friend is at to determine what they are doing there, unless like in the case of the husband and the wife, something is causing a suspicion in the relationship.

  5. Alejandro Valderrabano

    Well it depends on each person’s personality, some people don’t seem to care to know where others are or what they do, while other like to know everything and gossip about it. It is possible that it would turn some of us into spies. However many people are already taking measures against this, lawsuits have already taken place against companies for giving this information without the user’s consent, therefore newer phones actually ask if you consent to share and give your location to an application or program. Some people like everyone to know what they do all the time, putting updates on Facebook or twitter of where they are and what they do, this of course is not spying since they want to be seen, in the end I believe it will largely depend on each user and only time will tell what the lasting trend will be.

  6. Kelsey K

    For me—this is really really strange. I cannot believe that people would be interesting in “tracking their friends” at all times. That is extremely creepy, why would you want someone knowing where you were at exactly every moment of your life? I know Iphone has an app for everything, apparently this is true. I guess in a way this could be a beneficial thing, in terms of the law and tracking those needed to be tracked, those hard to find in the first place. But to think that my friends could be following me every step of the way is weird to me. It seems as though the increasing technological advances, our privacy keeps diminishing—- to the point that we can even wonder if our lives are even private at all anymore. To add, the situation about the husband and wife, that’s weird, and clearly there are some trust issues— if you have to track your husband or wife on a phone, there are much greater problems in the relationship!

  7. Nicole Acheson

    I find this incredibly disturbing. Having everything we do tracked while we are online is one thing, but being able to track where we are at any given time is too much. This is a serious breach of our right to privacy and should be illegal.

  8. brett pudwell

    I think this article is perfectly indicative of what our mentality as individuals and as a society has become. For the majority of people out there it is no longer a question of who you can trust, just the notion that nobody can be trusted, including those closest to you. I do not believe that this type of technology should be present in a relationship and the fact that he installed this app on his wife’s cell phone without her knowing shows that this relationship has had problems for a while. Not that I am saying trust no longer exists but in most relationships nowadays it is a novelty. The things that technology is making available is amazing. The uses for something like this are nearly endless. Moving away from the dark side of technology like this, the ability to monitor younger children for example presents itself. Always knowing where your children are will make a lot of parents much more comfortable with providing their children with a little more freedom. I personally am for technology such as this, though only when used for the right reasons. This is a philosophy that can be applied to any new technology though. The fault is not in the technology but in how the people who possess it choose to use it.

  9. Brett Z

    Privacy online is something I am mildly concerned about. My first concern originally came back in the day when Facebook introduced the check-in feature where via GPS you could check in at a certain location and tag friends. I have used this feature on rare occasions where I have mentioned I am at a sporting event or in an airport flying to vacation. Recently, facebook has included a tag of location on all posts it seems as if Facebook can guess where you are. In comparison to the “Find my friends” app on the iPhone i feel this is an invasion of privacy to an extent. The extent is the fact that you should be aware of what is installed on your phone. If you install this application on your phone knowingly, then you are eliminating your privacy. For me personally, I do not care where my friends are at every second of the day, If I want to know where they are, all it takes is a quick text. If they don’t respond or lie, that is their choice and their privacy.

  10. Wale Obateru

    The rate at which technology is rapidly evolving is really interesting. There are advantages and disadvantages involved with this type of technology tool. First of all, this is a way to detect insincerity in people which was the case in the story. It could also help in knowing the whereabout of people in situations where they might be missing. This technological tool could also help parents keep a close watch on their kids which helps keeps them in check. Despite the advantages that this technology tools provide, there a quite a number of disadvantages involved. Firstly, privacy issues is a big concern in our society today. With technology tools that can track humans, the issue of privacy even becomes worse because such tools can be used for illicit acts such as robbery, kidnapping or even killing. There are also ethical concerns on whether it is legal to use this tools without the consent or knowledge of the person involved. Another issue is whether we really expect our friends to join this technology so we can monitor their movement. I personally would not want anyone monitoring my movements or spying on me. I really doubt if this tool will be succesful in most countries especcially given to the variations accross cultures. Most cultures would not even approve of a technology which people can use to spy on each other. In summary, this technology would turn us into spies which is not desired for the society.

  11. Yanmei Sun

    Obviously everything has two sides: a bad side and a good side.It is true that being given technology tools will make law-enforcement-style surveillance so easy a baby could do it transform us (more than Facebook already has) into a society of spies,however,we are human beings and we can control the ‘Find My Friends’because it is just a software.In one side,the ‘Find My Friends’is basically used between friends and people who are closed to each other. If people are friends or couples,there is nothing need to hide between each other. In another side, people all have privacy, and friends and couples need to respect others’ privacy.So in my opinion, it is all depends on the people’s choices.If he or she wants, he or she could allow others to add him or her as a friend,otherwise,just refuse or ignore the request.

    I don’t think there is anyone would like to be tracked except one situation: accident emergency. If something like that happened, it would be more helpful to have a friend who has your position information.Consequently, I think ‘Find My Friends’ is more like a moral issue.

  12. amanda K

    I found this article very interesting to read and the fact that someone actually used the app to spy on his wife without her knowing is kind of interesting. Technology has evolved tremendously over the years, cell phones are no longer just a means of communication, and they can start a whole new level of problems. I don’t know if the app is necessarily always going to be accurate, I mean after all it is just software and software can have flaws. It is crazy to think that a simple app can track your were bouts at all times. At the same time it kind of bothers me to think that someone can upload it without you knowing and spy on you. It’s kind of an invasion of privacy, I think it will create lots of problems in the future; soon nothing will be private anymore. The whole idea of being able to “Find your friends” without them knowing is creepy, it would basically be stalking them. I think the app could have a useful purpose, but as we seen in this article people will use it for the wrong reasons. I wouldn’t want people to know where I am all the time; if I want someone to know where I am ill tell them. As for the guy that used this app to spy on his wife and see if she was cheating on him, I think he took it too far. If he was having doubt about their marriage he should of dealt with it a different way, like talk to her instead of invading her privacy. To think that people actually use the iphone feature to spy on people is mind boggling. Something that used to be a simple means of communication is creating bizarre scenarios like this one.

  13. Mark

    The biggest problem that I have with this app is the fact that it can be put on your phone without you knowing. Can that really be true? That seems legally impossible – to me atleast. If the app can be put on your phone without you knowing I just can’t see that lasting. Too many people will be outed by this application and restrictions will enivitabley be put in place, in my opinion.
    texting has made it so easy to talk to who ever I want, virtually when ever I want. that being said, I can not see myself ever opting in to such an application. My privacy is too valuable to me. If I want people to know that I am in a certain area I will let it be known myself. I would text people of my choosing to see if they would like to join. On the flip side, I would not reveal where I am to anyone so that I may do what ever I want in total peace and relaxation…………ahhhhhhhhhhhh!

  14. Pulkit Arora

    This article raises the question of how far people can go with the use of these kind of ‘apps’ and how legal issues can arise from it. Although this “Find your friends” is a cool feature, I do not think it should be as easily accessible to the average consumer. Trust is an issue for all couples or families, but the answer to this is not by downloading this “Find your friends” application onto your phone to spy on someone else. Since each person has a right to their privacy, they should not be forced to turn ‘on’ their whereabouts with GPS system because they have that feature. For example, if a person is buying a gift for the other and has turned off their location, then that person might get concerned and start asking questions. As a result a misguided argument can arise for absolutely no reason. Therefore for not just that reason but many others, this feature should be so readily available to the general public because their are more harmful effects than positive ones.

  15. B Schnell3

    This sounds like the definition of a slippery slope. What come to mind for me though, is that if the public are just starting to get access to this sort of technology – how long have government agencies or major corporations been using this technology? I know I know it sounds a little like conspiracy theory mumbo jumbo but the further technology advances the more I (and my peers) seem to worry about that sort of thing.

    I think that yes more and more of us will start acting like spys, but I think it will be quite sometime before we EXPECT our friends to be ‘on the grid” at all times. As it is know a person may suffer a bit of razz or the odd joke at their own experience for not being on Facebook, but in the end I think most just see it as “their loss” for being out of the loop.

    The question id like to ask, when considering how it has become a necessity to have internet or a smart phone, is how long until it becomes a necessity to have tracking technology yourself. “well John probably would have like to be here, but I would have had to “text” him. God I wish he would just get with it!”

  16. Austen Murray

    This technology is rather obsessive and weird, the fact another human being can always see what his or her friends are up to by seeing where at all times they are located is wrong. Yes this technology is great if it is needed to find a criminal. However, in my opinion this technology is not really needed for consumers for everyday use. Facebook already is turning society into a bunch of creepers, personal information is being indulged by more and more people every day. Its good how it has allowed us to share information and keep in touch with one another more easily, but the friend locator is not needed. There is no really advantage that is gives us, other than probly cause a lot more confusion because white lies would no longer be suffice. Many marriages would have trouble because wives would constantly know where their husbands are. Kids could no longer be free of parents control if they want to go to that R rated movie. All in all it’s just a technology that would transfer this world into a more unnaturally controlling environment. People need that freedom of escape, I don’t want anyone to know exactly where I have been all day because then I would have nothing to share with them about it. This is how it would go—“hey I went to, ——yah I know my facebook locator told me you skipped out of school and got me that game, let’s see it!!!!”—–element of surprise would be one of many things taken from you.

  17. Laurelle Brown

    THis subject is a touchy one, because it has outlined some of the possible benefits that come from a constant monitoring could have, such as catching criminals and preventing crimes, but I dont think these benifits outway, well for lack of better words, the creepiness.

    I would hate to have an app that could allow people to know my whereabouts at all time! Have we given up on the concept of privacy?!? This could apply to so many aspects of society, that would have such a detrimental affect!! What about those stalkers out there?! I think we’re just making their creepy task easier!! It would prevent so many feelings of safety and security!

    This concept is just an example of our attempt to use tecchnology to control every aspect of out lives: our contacts, communication, and our friends

  18. Jenny T

    I really think the trust in people has gone down hill tremendously. If you can’t trust the person then why are you with them? Obviously, yes, cheating I believe is wrong and shouldn’t be done, but at the same time that person has the right to their own privacy and shouldn’t have a tracking device on them and spied on because of your own insecurities. If you have a feeling they aren’t telling the truth, then confront them. Its much easier than taking the time to install a spyware system and following their every move all day. Things such as facebook already violate so much privacy of a person since most people allow all their personal information available and inform everyone on their every move (they are practically telling the world when it is best to rob their home and where you can find them at any point in the day). I don’t think it should be so easy to track a person even if they do have to opt into it. Whats next is you won’t even have to wait for their permission or the software on their phone, it will all be generated even without the persons authority and if you want to opt out, there will most likely be a fee just as there is to remove your phone number and address from the phone book.

  19. Moire Hogg

    Is it technology that makes us spy? Technology gives us a tool to enable us to spy if we choose. It is peoples personal concerns that turn them towards spying to find answers. Maybe we already live in a society of spies and this technology is giving us another means to facilitate spying.

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