The Federal Trade Commission has finalized an order banning a stalkerware provider and its CEO from the surveillance business to settle allegations the company secretly harvested and shared data on people’s physical movements, phone use, and online activities.
In a complaint first announced in September 2021, the FTC alleged that Support King, LLC, which did business as SpyFone.com, and its CEO Scott Zuckerman sold stalkerware apps that allowed purchasers to surreptitiously monitor photos, text messages, web histories, GPS locations, and other personal information on the phone on which the app was installed without the device owner’s knowledge.
In addition to the ban on offering, promoting, selling, or advertising any surveillance app, service, or business, the order also requires Support King and Zuckerman to delete any information illegally collected from their stalkerware apps. It also orders them to notify owners of devices on which SpyFone’s apps were installed that their devices might have been monitored and the devices might not be secure.
After receiving seven substantive comments on the settlement, the Commission voted 4-0 to finalize the settlement and send responses to the commenters.