A recent story in The Mirror by a mom and wife named Catharine Higginson has caused a stir online over an app her husband installed on her phone.
Catharine, who has been married to husband James for 10 years, says she discovered by accident that he installed the app, which allows him to track her location, read her texts and listen to phone conversations.
She said it happened when she missed a text from her bank regarding a financial transfer. When she got home, James told her he’d already taken care of it through the app. At first, she said she was shocked, and his “words sent a shiver down my spine.”
She wrote: “These apps are not there to spy on your wife! But James, whenever he feels like it, can sit at his computer and pull up a specific web page, log in and locate all the family phones. He can then download my texts and listen to conversations I’m having with people wherever I am. He can also see who I’m with via the camera.”
After it sank in, she said the app actually is practical and a safety device — when you need to find someone, for example, or if your car breaks down. She argues that she doesn’t see it as spying, but about her husband “caring about my well-being.”
The app is also installed on the phones of her three children. They range in age from 12 to 19.
After her story came out, social media exploded with readers alleging her husband is too controlling, even abusive.
She told Buzzfeed: “Personally I’d find it much more “creepy” if I was in a relationship where the person wouldn’t let me have the password to their computer. I don’t think total transparency is creepy at all. If you’ve got nothing to hide, there’s no big deal.”