Australian man pleads guilty after stalking ex-girlfriend with app that gave him control of her car and let him track her location in real time
- A man used a telephone app to follow his ex's car and keep a list of her appointments
- The app also gave him the ability to turn on the engine and unlock the doors
- The 38-year-old man, a resident of Hobart, Tasmania, pleaded guilty before the court
This week, a 38-year-old Australian man promised to be guilty of stalking a woman he had dated six months earlier.
The man had downloaded an app to track the location of the woman's car, compile a list of places she visited and where she might have upcoming appointments.
In addition to determining the location, the nameless app enabled him to remotely start and stop the car, unlock the doors and open and close the windows.
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The 38-year-old man had bought a Land Rover for the woman during their six-month relationship and he used a smartphone app to keep up with it after they broke up
The app sent emails to the man about her movements when she was in the car, according to a report from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
The man, who worked for the Royal Australian Corps of Transport, also downloaded a separate spyware app that he could use to follow the woman's phone.
"What he did is despicable and I am still trying to come to terms with the extent of the violation and the trauma I experienced," the woman said in court.
The man lived in Hobart, the capital of Tasmania.
Due to Australian law, neither the name of the man nor the name of the woman is given.
The man originally got access to the car, a Land Rover, because he bought it for her during their six-month relationship.
Because he had bought the car, he had the vehicle identification number with which he could activate the app to track the car.
The woman began to fear her safety after she woke up one night and noticed that her ex was standing still at the foot of her bed
The app is not specified, but is similar to many commonly available apps offered by luxury car manufacturers to operate their cars remotely.
The name of the stable software app that was used to track the woman's phone was also not disclosed.
WHAT IS & # 39; STALKERWARE?
Stalkerware is software that allows you to spy on someone's phone or tablet.
They are often advertised to parents who want to follow their child's online activity, or bosses who want to browse their employees.
Typically, you can intercept remote messages with stalkware messages, photos, browsing history, GPS coordinates and even phone calls.
They work by linking an online account to an app that is installed on the device that you want to spy on.
Users can then access the data from the phone remotely without the owner knowing they are being monitored.
Stalkerware apps are technically legal, but have led to controversies in the past when people hired them for illegal espionage.
The woman began to seriously fear her safety when she woke up one night and discovered that the man had broken into her house and stood still at the foot of her bed.
After she woke up, they remained silent about what seemed like an eternity, and then he told her she was lucky it was him and not a burglar or worse.
The woman finally discovered that he was following her remotely when she lost her phone and used an app on her laptop to log in remotely.
The external login attempt instead caused his email account to be opened and she saw the long list of messages he had sent with her daily movements.
"I was in shock and fear of my life when I realized that he was stalking me and taking control of my car," she said.
& # 39; I didn't have a phone to ask for help and I didn't want to let him know that I knew it, so I borrowed a phone and called my father. & # 39;
After submitting a guilty plea, the court will meet again in December for conviction arguments.
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