Stalkers and abusive partners want access to your device for the same reason governments and advertisers do: because “full access to a person's phone is the next best thing to full access to a person's mind,” as EFF Director of Cybersecurity Eva Galperin explains in her TED talk on “stalkerware” and her efforts to end the abuse this malicious software enables.
After years of studying how nation-state actors use advanced malware to spy on journalists, activists, lawyers, scientists, and others who practice dissent and advocacy, Galperin shifted her focus to how stalkers, abusive partners, and exes use advanced malware to spy on and manipulate their victims.
Of the companies that market stalkerware—sometimes under the guise of child safety or employee-monitoring software—Galperin told the TED audience, “Do these companies know that their tools are being used as tools of abuse? Absolutely.”
We call on antivirus companies to recognize stalkerware for what it is: malicious technology with no acceptable use case. With groups like the Coalition Against Stalkerware, Galperin and EFF are leading the fight to educate users and push antivirus companies to “change the norm” around how they treat this technology to prevent abuse and protect victims.