Should you let your lover spy on your iPhone messages?

There's little worse than leaving your iPhone unattended and wondering if your significant other is sniffing around it. There is, apparently, a way to find out. But where do you draw the line between love and privacy?

Chris Matyszczyk
3 min read
Leave it open? Or closed?

Love, like any belief, is precarious.

You think you can touch it and feel it. Suddenly your eyes are awakened, your senses are numbed, and your lawyer is called.

Because Technically Incorrect is primarily a project for human protection (from the worst of humanity), we need to discuss just how easily your lover should be able to get into your gadgets.

I have been stimulated to thought by a Cult Of Mac reader who decided to test his beloved to see whether she deserved his love quite as much as he thought. And, presumably, hoped.

He wondered, as so many of us do, whether she might be peering into his iPhone when it was left unattended.

Privacy is, after all, on everyone's mind given the rapacious way in which Google, Facebook, and the NSA like to know everything about us.

This gentleman decided to close his apps and leave his iPhone open to the world, while he went off for a shower.

This was clearly symbolic. There he was, adorning his body with cleanliness and sweet smells, while worrying that his girlfriend might not be as fragrant as she seemed.

He told Cult Of Mac that he came back, all clean and shiny and "I double clicked the home button and saw that she had opened my texts. (She also opened the weather but that's perfectly fine)."

It's good to know that the weather was fine, because I am concerned that the relationship might well have turned stormy.

This particular gentleman said that his iPhone hid nothing incriminating. When he confronted his lover, she apparently came clean and everything is pretty colors in paradise.

He did mention that if you wait a little while and launch your phone, you can see what apps were opened too.

"You opened Tinder and Grindr? How could you DO this to me?!"

I am, though, pained by the politics of gadget secrecy.

Should your lover know your passcode (you know, in case of emergency)? Should he or she be able to read your e-mails if you leave your laptop open, while you go to the garden to milk your goats?

Or should you keep your iPhone permanently holstered to your underpants, in the knowledge that you can feel where it is at all times, with just the smallest movement of your hip region?

And then what about iPads? Those things lie about the house, waiting to be used by anyone.

What happens when your boyfriend picks up the iPad and sees that you have been surfing for pornography only slightly less than British politicians?

Perhaps you have your own methods of protecting that which is dearest to you: yourself.

Spies can be very tricky. Some might not immediately reveal what they have learned.

Instead, they might choose to treat you badly for months, badger some of your friends anonymously, and even stalk you as you go about your daily business.

You are damned if you do, damned if you don't, and in purgatory if you find some sort of middle ground.

The proliferation of technology is, quite frankly, making relationships impossible.

Which is why Tinder and Grindr are some people's most intimate friends.