You may like how your smart-phone's geo-location services can show you the closest coffee shop, but that technology also put you at risk of being stalked. The use of so-called "stalking apps" -- which can secretly track people through their phones -- is on the rise and is leading to more domestic violence. Minnesota Senator Al Franken (D) is pushing a bill in Congress that would require companies to get the permission of users before collecting and sharing their location information. At a Senate hearing today Bea Hanson -- with the Office on Violence Against Women -- stated that through the use of this software, perpetrators can read victims' email and text messages, listen to their telephone calls, trace their movements and turn on the microphone in their phone to records conversations occurring in the immediate surrounding area, and all this can be done remotely and surreptitiously.
Hanson says, of the more than 750 victim service agencies that responded, 72 percent reported helping victims who had been tracked by GPS either through a cell phone or GPS device.