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Six million engage in smartphone snooping

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As many as six million people use smart phones to monitor their family or those who work for them.

Research from Direct Line Home Insurance showed people are using options such as phone locating software, indoor security cameras, smart door bells or other devices.

The majority are monitoring their children: almost four million parents already monitor children via smart devices and nearly eight million plan to do so in the future. Of those who said they would track their child, a quarter of parents would do so without telling them.

Their motives are around their own peace of mind and the safety of the children. 43% use the technology to ensure there have not been any accidents and their children aren’t in any danger. However, around one in eight simply don’t trust their children, or don’t trust those around their children.

It is increasingly common to monitor cleaners and babysitters, with around a fifth of people monitoring their household staff. Technology also allows people to keep tabs on their partners, with one in 20 people already monitoring their partners and a further 4.7 million saying they would if they were given the opportunity. Unsurprisingly, more of these would keep it secret.

Jenny Trueman, head of connected homes and product innovation at Direct Line, said: “Smart technologies have grown in popularity at an increasing rate in recent years, with many of us monitoring our homes whilst we’re out at work or away from home.

She adds that smart technology isn’t just handy for snooping: “Smart technology in the home can be incredibly beneficial from a security and safety perspective, reducing the impact of a leak, fire or burglary by sending you an alert as soon as something happens. However, it is also worth ensuring that you have adequate home insurance in place in case the worst happens, as for many the impact of an incident in your home is only realised when it’s too late.”

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