Now you can spy on iPhone users too

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In the movies, spies find out all sorts of important things such as where those darn terrorists are hiding the missiles or how to seduce a woman while being chased down a snowy mountain. In real life, though, most of us would use spies to ferret out information a little less sexy in nature, such as whether our teenage daughter is still talking to that no-good boyfriend of hers or what our employee is doing all day in his office with the door closed and the lights off.

An Arizona company called Retina-X Studios seeks to help the suspicious among us find that information. Its website assures customers that it can help ‘find the truth about what users do on your computer behind your back.’ Sound like a product you wouldn’t wish in the hands of anyone remotely paranoid? Too bad. Now it’s available on the iPhone.


With Mobile Spy, users can monitor text messages and call information of people using iPhones -- without the caller knowing they’re being monitored. All you have to do is get the iPhone away from them for long enough to download the software using the phone’s Web browser (while they’re sleeping perhaps). Then, you can monitor the unwitting victim’s calls and text messages from any web browser.

Who would use this software? Meddlesome people who may or may not exist. A quote from someone suspiciously named ‘USA user’ on the testimonials section of the Retina-X website says cryptically, ‘caught her red-handed and she moved out and we are happy.’ Another customer, ‘United States user’ lauds the product because it helped him find out that his girlfriend’s daughter is smoking pot and dating her ex-boyfriend. And ‘Arnold,’ another ‘USA user’ gloats that his company used Retina-X to monitor an employee ‘and would like to use some hard copies in her file when we fire her.’ Ouch.

Sounds like another tool Q could give James Bond, except that it’s available to anyone willing to cough up $100. Now we can all become a little more like the spies in the movies -- or maybe more like the spied-upon.

-- Alana Semuels