bugging device use increases through ecommerce platform

Amazon has been accused of encouraging stalking by featuring dozens of GPS tracking devices on its website aimed specifically at suspicious partners. The devices allow stalkers to track their victims, listen to their phone calls and even operate the camera on their computers.

Under UK harassment laws, spying is illegal if it causes ‘distress or alarm’, but the GPS devices can be bought for as little as £10 on Amazon’s website. The top result for ‘tracking devices’ on the site is a gadget described as ‘perfect for tracking vehicles, teens, spouses, elderly persons or assets’.

The Spytec Portable GPS tracker can be attached to vehicles or a victim’s belt and track their movement in real time over the internet, it adds. The National Stalking Helpline last year received more than 4,300 calls from distressed victims.

Suky Bhaker, acting chief executive of the Suzy Lamplugh Trust which works with victims of stalking, criticised the sale of the devices. She told The Mail on Sunday: ‘We run the National Stalking Helpline and our frontline work has shown that many stalking perpetrators utilise such technologies to track and spy on victims.

‘We know from the tens of thousands of victims we have spoken to that the impact of stalking on victims’ lives is utterly devastating, to the victims and all those around them.’

According to figures released by the Office for National Statistics, the number of reported cases of stalking increased by 46 per cent in the year to December 2018.

In January, a stalker was jailed for 14 months after he fitted a tracker to his estranged wife’s car so he could spy on her movements. Stuart Carless, 46, waged a two-month stalking campaign after he suspected his wife Victoria, 45, had left him for another man. And last year, a jilted husband bugged his wife’s purse with a listening device and placed a tracker in her car after he became suspicious she was dating other men.

Andrew Hunter, who also sent his wife Joanna abusive text messages and took photographs of her meetings, was sentenced to an 18-month community order.

 

Ref link:  https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7045067/Amazon-accused-encouraging-stalking-selling-GPS-tracking-devices-aimed-suspicious-partners.html

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