If someone sent a false picture message that contained a hidden app that allowed them to monitor calls,messages,photos etc... Are there any privacy laws being broken?This question applies only to the state of California.

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    In the general case, you can consider that it is most definitely illegal to hack into some other person's computer, as well as to monitor their activity without their consent. The specifics, however, are country-specific, or possibly even state-specific where relevant, so you'll have to provide details of the location of both the target and the perpetrator.
    – jcaron
    Commented Jan 19, 2016 at 16:25
  • Are you planning on stalking an ex?
    – Ken Sharp
    Commented Jan 21, 2016 at 11:37
  • @Ken Sharp- I just don't understand why phone companies don't have built in software that would notify the user automatically that a sender has sent a monitoring app.And this topic should be widely informed to the public or phone companies should be held in charge of this illegal break in security by some sort of extra insurance policy.There are a lot of vulnerable people who just don't know that this is possible or how to protect themselves.What is the best app to detect spyware? Commented Jan 21, 2016 at 12:18

2 Answers 2


Of course it is illegal. You are attempting to access somebody's data without their knowledge and certainly without their consent.

In the U.K. it is a crime under the Computer Misuse Act 1990, the Police and Justice Act 2006 and the Serious Crimes Act 2015.

The clue here should be in the term Serious Crimes.

The Human Rights Act, and indeed the ECHR, should never come into it unless it was state sponsored or corporate spying. And even then certain states have given themselves Orwellian totalitarian authority to do as they please.


I really doubt that from technical point of view such thing be possible, but anyway, yes it is illegal indeed. Right to privacy is a fundamental right in western legal system and violating it is a crime in most legal systems. For instance refer to Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

  • Of course it's possible, it has been covered plenty by the news outlets.
    – Ken Sharp
    Commented Jan 19, 2016 at 16:35
  • I've just received my Android update which deals with a security hole that allows this very thing.
    – Ken Sharp
    Commented Feb 5, 2016 at 9:00

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