It’s like the thing of movies – pick-pocketing a phone, installing something on it and then returning it. From then you can track the owners and even listen in to his conversations. But it’s possible now.
There are numerous security applications available for smartphones – if the phone is stolen you can track it, wipe data, etc – so it was inevitable that this would be taken a stage further. Of course, it’s meant for slightly less sinister means – usually for ensuring that children are safe – but business versions, allowing you to track your employees, are equally available.
One of the market leaders is mspy, which offers programs for Smartphones as well as the desktop. mspy features, amongst other things, the ability to record surroundings, intercept messages and read emails.
How you feel about this comes down to your feeling on invasion of privacy. Businesses will usually have something added to your contract to allow this kind of behaviour – but does that make it right? Of course, it’s down to how you use it, certainly for home use – it can be a powerful safety aid for those with children.