More legal spyware – a keylogger for the Mac
Is this really the sort of world we want? Amac Keylogger for Mac OS X is sold on the basis of providing four solutions “by applying a smart and stealthy approach”:
- Parental control
- Catch a cheating spouse
- Employee monitoring
- Get back a lost/stolen Macbook
Let’s look at these.
Parental control. Like spying on your kids is a great way to build or maintain a fantastic relationship! But what really happens here? You catch them doing something wrong. If you ignore it, then what’s the point? If you respond, then they know you’re spying on them – and ten to one they’re more cyber-savvy than you. They’ll find a way round, and learn to hate you at the same time.
Cheating spouse. This can only be useful if you’re trying to defend your wealth at a time of divorce. But if that’s the case, and you have wealth to defend, keep your hands clean and employ a detective agency. But be sure of one thing: no relationship was ever saved by spying. A bad one may be confirmed, or a good one destroyed – nothing else.
Employee monitoring. Be very careful about the legality of this. You need to make it very clear to your staff that you monitor them. What they can and cannot do must be specified very clearly in an AUP. But do you really think you can keep good staff by spying on them? Would you, for example, accept a job knowing that your employer is monitoring every keystroke you make?
Retrieving a lost or stolen Macbook. Not if I don’t connect to the internet, or find some other way to remove the software…
So all in all – don’t go there. Distrust breeds distrust – let’s try to be honest in all of our dealings. Honesty is not merely the best policy, ultimately it is the only thing that works.