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Engagement ended over smartphone spy app

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The Criminal Investigation Bureau (CIB) yesterday disclosed details of a case in which a woman, surnamed Hong, secretly installed a mobile spy application on her fiance's mobile phone.

According to the CIB, the woman's fiance, surnamed Lee, did not find out about this spy application until Hong was called in for questioning over the app by police. Lee immediately decided to call off the wedding and sue her based on offenses to his right to privacy.

The CIB said that the spy application, which costs NT$30,000, can automatically copy the information from contact logs, Facebook and instant messaging applications and send it to a cloud network.

The spy application, according to the CIB, can also activate the camera and video functions automatically.

According to the CIB, Hong was worried that Lee might cheat on her, so she asked a 34-year-old woman, surnamed Huang, to install the spy application on Lee's cellphone.

However, after a few months of spying, the CIB said, Hong could not find anything to prove that Lee cheated on her, but she did not know how to apologize to him.

After Hong was called in for questioning, Lee realized that he had been spied on for months, so he called off the wedding and sued her regardless of her pleas for forgiveness.

The CIB said that the main suspect had suffered in a previous relationship because her ex-boyfriend cheated on her repeatedly.

When she came across the spy application that can copy the information from other people's cellphones, the CIB said, she started to sell this application online, attracting nearly 30 people who bought it and earning her nearly NT$1 million.

According to the CIB, as long as Huang had access to victims' phones, she could install the application in 10 minutes and control the victims' cellphones remotely.

The CIB said that Huang also installed the spy application on her husband's smartphone, and her husband immediately switched to a secondary phone after discovering that he was being spied on.

According to the CIB, both Huang and Hong's cases were transferred to the prosecutor's office for further investigation over offenses against privacy.

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