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Is mSpy Legal? Everything You Need to Know

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mSpy is legal when used to monitor the phone of your child (under 18 years of age) or a consenting adult. Using mSpy to secretly monitor the mobile device of anyone 18 years of age is considered illegal. This means that it is illegal to secretly install mSpy on the phone of a spouse, loved one, or partner without their knowledge.

mSpy is one of the most popular cell phone spying apps in the world. mSpy was started in 2010 by Andrei Shimanovich in London, England.

When is mSpy Legal?

mSpy is COMPLETELY legal when used according to their terms of service.

What does this mean exactly?

It partly depends on where you live. Different countries have VERY different laws when it comes to secretly spying on someone’s cell phone.

In the US there are very specific rules about when you can and can’t monitor a phone with spy software.

Let’s take a look at some of the cases where it’s legal.

Family Members

It is completely legal to install mSpy or any other spy app on a family members phone to keep track of what they’re doing. But there are certain conditions that must be met.

If the person whose phone you’re monitoring is your own child then you are completely in the clear so long as they are under 18.

It’s up to you whether or not you tell your child that you’ll be monitoring their phone.

I’ve found that with our own children it helped to TELL them that we would be monitoring their phone. This meant that we didn’t actually have to monitor it all that often because they knew better than to use it inappropriately.

It also allows us to check in on their location if we haven’t heard from them in a while.

The only downside to this is that some kids are smart enough to figure out how to detect a spy app like mSpy on their phone. Then they could disable it, or even turn their phone off if they’re going somewhere they don’t want you to see.

If the phone belongs to an adult, like a child above 18 or spouse, boyfriend, girlfriend, partner etc, you MUST let the person know that you’ll be monitoring their phone.

If you don’t own the phone then it is illegal to secretly install the spying app on their phone.


Another popular reason for using a spy app like mSpy is to keep track of employees.

It would be great if we could trust every adult with a smartphone to spend their time on the job actually working and being productive. Unfortunately this isn’t always the case.

Many employees are more than happy to spend hours each day surfing the internet, checking Facebook, or who knows what else.

If you have supplied your employees with company phones you CAN monitor those phones.

But you must let them know that you will be doing so.

Attempting to put a spy app on their personal phone would be illegal and any employer attempting to do so could face criminal charges.

Spouses, Boyfriends, Girlfriends etc.

If you’re looking to spy on your spouse with an app like mSpy or one of the many alternatives to mSpy you should understand the consequences of doing so illegally. Laws vary by state, but nowhere in the US is it legal to hack someones phone without their knowledge.

And if you’re looking for evidence of cheating to get better leverage during a divorce you’re better off not bothering. Evidence gained through the use of a spy app would most likely be inadmissible anyway.

About the Author

Jason has over 25 years in the information and internet security industry. He is passionate about smartphones, gadgets, and technology. He also got a solid background in programming and software.  This includes Python, C++, app development and more.

jason thompson