An Australian man allegedly downloaded software to his ex-girlfriend's car that allowed him to drive it remotely and track her location
- A man in Australian allegedly installed spyware onto his ex-girlfriend's car that allowed him to track her movements, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) reported on Thursday.
- According to the report, the man had access to the unique identification number of the women's vehicle, allowing him to set up the app and monitor her location remotely.
- Cyberstalking has become increasingly common in the digital age, and abusers have more tools at their disposal to track their target's cell phones and online activities.
- For more stories go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.
A man in Hobart, Australia is alleged to have downloaded an application onto his ex-girlfriend's car, allowing him to remotely start and stop her vehicle, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) reported on Thursday local time.
According to the ABC, the 38-year-old pleaded guilty last year to stalking his ex-girlfriend, whom he dated for six months.
The man, a mechanic who worked for the RACT motoring club on the island of Tasmania, allegedly helped his ex-girlfriend buy a Land Rover, and therefore had access to the vehicle's unique identification number.
That number, according to the ABC, allowed him to allegedly set up the app on her car and gave him remote access to control her vehicle and monitor her movements. The man is also alleged to have paid a monthly fee for a spyware app that allowed him to track her cell phone.
"What he did is despicable and I am still trying to come to terms with the scope of violation and trauma I have experienced," the woman told the court, according to the ABC.
According to the report, the woman also told the court that her ex-boyfriend had once snuck into her bedroom one night and stood at the foot of her bed. When she awoke frightened, he allegedly told her: "You're lucky it's just me and not a robber or a bad person to do you harm."
The woman realised she was being stalked after she lost her cell phone and went online to trace it, only to discover emails that showed her ex-boyfriend had been compiling data on her whereabouts, including where she parked her car, ABC said.
"I was in shock and fear for my life when I realised he was stalking me and had control of my car," she told the court.
The man's lawyer will make a sentence submission in the next hearing in December, ABC said.
Cyberstalking has become increasingly common in the digital age, and abusers have more tools at their disposal to track their target's cell phones and online activities.
In 2015, UK domestic abuse prevention charity Women's Aid reported in a survey that 41% of respondents reported their partners or ex-partners had used their internet activities to monitor them, according to the Guardian.
Jennifer Perry, the chief executive of the Digital Trust, which supports victims of digital abuse, told the Guardian in 2015 that new technology continues to evolve and make it even harder to track.
"The easiest thing is to access the woman in the cloud," she said, referring to cloud-based storage devices like Apple's iCloud and Google Drive.
"A man might buy a phone and set it up for his partner to be 'helpful.' He knows the username and password. You have women who don't even realise they have a cloud account in their smartphone."
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