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Study: Maybe time to hide phone from mate?

A recent survey by consumer electronics shopping site Retrevo shows that spying via gadgets like cell phones and laptops is fairly common among couples.

Women are just slightly more likely to spy on their partner than men, the study says. Retrevo

Your significant other's asleep in the bedroom and you spot his or her phone lying on the couch. Would you take a peep at the text messages? According to a recent survey from consumer electronics shopping site Retrevo, there's a 38 percent chance you would if you're 25 or younger (or, one assumes, married to Tiger Woods).

Whether it's due to innocent curiosity or a serious lack of trust, there will always be those who want to spy on their mates. (I am not, of course, talking about myself, any past girlfriends, or anyone else I know personally!). But nowadays, with the help of gadgets like smartphones and laptops, it's easier than ever to snoop, especially among couples, the survey found.

Retrevo--which has previously delved into such pressing techno-social topics as the dating habits of iPhone users--conducted its latest survey online earlier this year by polling 1,000 men and women of varying ages, incomes, and locations in the United States.

Among respondents, 38 percent of those 25 years old or younger admitted to snooping on their boyfriend's or girlfriend's messages, and 36 percent of those who are married admitted to checking their spouse's e-mail or call history (Retrevo did not, however, say how many respondents are married, which makes it hard to gauge this figure). Overall, about 28 percent of all ages admitted that they spied on their partner.

One interesting finding is that 10 percent of young people polled actually found out via spying that they had been cheated on, compared with only 3 percent among older and married couples. The survey also indicated that men are ever-so-slightly less likely to spy on their partners than women, with 30 percent of them doing this compared to 33 of women.

Hmmm, maybe the next Retrevo survey will look at an increase in privacy protection measures in romantic relationships.