Spying & Monitoring – Difference between the Good & Bad

Apparently, there is no difference between the spying and monitoring, but when it comes to the execution of the two it reveals the clear difference. It means it depends on the purpose; one being watched and the one doing watching. There are people that are used to being monitored or observed in their routine life. Every time when someone around other peoples every movement, the activity being watched and analyzed is called spying.

Spying means getting your hands on the particular information that was not meant to been seen by someone else except the person receiving the Intel. This kind of information needs to hide for good cause, but more often than not, the major reason to hide the information that there is something that is really bad.

Spying implies that the person is being under surveillance don’t aware of the fact that he/she is being watched and analyzed by someone. On the other side, the person is fully aware of the monitoring activity and he/she knows that all the information needs to stay private and it also should be kept to oneself.

Rise and rise of the technology in terms of cell phones, gadgets, and the internet forcing parents to spy on their children digital devices in order to get the unedited information of the children. They don’t let their children that their parents have kept a hidden eye on their digital activities.

Parents do believe in spying because they know if their kids get to know parents are getting information about all the activities they will change their devices what so ever.

On the other hand, if parents build a healthy relationship with the children and make them use monitoring software for cell phones and computer devices with their consent they will realize parents will be there if something bad happens to them online. So, parents can stop the ugly stuff and put their kids and teens under constant monitoring for their safety having proper consent of their children.

How Monitoring is far better than spying?

When you are spying someone it means you are breaching someone’s privacy without having the consent of your target person. Spying is truly against the ethics and norms and when someone crosses the line, it is doing an act against the law. So, the activity of spying can never be compared with the monitoring at all, no matter the outcomes of these two things are the same, but the execution and motives behind the two are quite different. Monitoring means you are protecting someone from threats or you are protecting yourself.

I think you don’t get it what I am trying to say, let’s clear it with an example. When parents are monitoring their children activities on the cell phone and internet, they are trying to build trust and prevent the dangers that might come in the children’s way such as cyber predators. In addition, if you being an employer monitoring the company have owned devices that you have assigned to your employees. It means you are trying to protect your business secrets having proper consent of your employees.

On the other hand, if you are using monitoring apps on your company’s digital devices without having the consent of your employees than you are clearly watching each and every single move your employees. This kind of activity falls under secret surveillance or spying. You as an employer are breaching private activities of your employees. It is possible that your employee is talking to their girlfriend or talking about a personal issue with their wife. So, without the consent of the employee you cannot monitor, but to spy.

Consent is necessary for monitoring someone: otherwise, you are spying

If you take consent of the target person that he/she will be under constant surveillance due to some reasons. The person on the other end will take it as a necessity and will appreciate and understand your concerns and also cooperate with you. But when you are spying someone without the target person knowing you are clearly doing an illegal act and a bad job.


Spying is against the norms and ethics and it is an illegal activity that you can do without having proper consent. While monitoring is an ethical activity that requires consent and trust to protect someone from something bad or you being someone protect your interest. So, you cannot compare the act of spying with an act of monitoring what so ever.