Sasha in St. Louis, Missouri thinks her husband put spyware on her phone. He knows exactly where she goes as well as her arrival and departure times, even if she didn’t tell him, and he’ll bring this up during arguments.
She’s tried everything to stop her husband from tracking her, like removing unfamiliar apps, resetting the phone to factory settings and reinstalling only the apps she uses. Still, she can’t find anything. “I would love some help to get out from under this situation,” she said. “I have of course just asked him about the tracking and he just laughs.”
Firstly, I advised her to leave him. I felt like I would be remiss in not saying this because power struggles in which one partner threatens the other’s freedom of movement rarely end well. Back in 1988, researchers said controlling behavior such as jealousy and possessiveness is a big precursor for intimate partner violence.
Even if your partner hasn’t been violent in the past, you should still realize how quickly this emotional abuse can escalate. The NSW Domestic Violence Death Review Team found that in many intimate partner homicide cases, male partners were coercive and controlling before killing their female victims.
Secondly, I suspect her husband is checking out her Google account to see where she has been and for how long. That’s because Google Maps works even if you don’t have a Google account associated with it. It uses the GPS location on your phone to see where you are — and where you’ve been for the past five years.