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Could friend-locator app lead to spousal stalking?

Most people who go through a divorce were at one time very close. They shared everything, and their lives were bound at the hip. But sometimes mistrust creeps in, and one spouse begins to doubt the other's intentions, even to the point of losing one's temper in frustration. It's no secret that this kind of building-up of negative emotions can eventually lead to a marital split.

Philadelphia residents may be interested in a recent article in The Wall Street Journal that raises this issue of suspicion between spouses. Before or during a divorce, spouses have been known to do some sneaky things, such as checking the other party's email or text messages. Or maybe one person goes so far as to stalk his or her spouse. Unfortunately, this kind of situation has also led to many incidents of domestic violence.

But now it appears that a newly released phone app, called "Find Friends," offers the chance not only to locate your friends, wherever they are; the app could also be used to spy on a significant other.

The app allows users to look at a map and see where their "friends" are. To be tracked by your "friends," you have to give them permission to "follow" you. The writer of The Wall Street Journal article said that her husband asked her to put the app on her phone for safety, but in the back of her mind, she wondered what his real intentions were.

It was also recently reported that spouses' use of secret cameras and other "spy gear" has increased, and the "Find Friends" app could easily fall into that category if used in a certain way.

Pennsylvanians who believe their significant others are following or stalking them need to be aware of the risks. Emotions run high in almost every relationship, and for some individuals, the risk can be increased by divorce proceedings. Consulting with an attorney is one way for divorcing spouses to protect their rights and their well-being.

Source: The Wall Street Journal, "New Technology Helps Find Friends, Stalk Spouses," Michelle Gerdes, Oct. 16, 2012

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