“Jolie,” a middle school teacher in her 20s, had no idea how her ex knew where she would be after work. He confronted her at the supermarket, public library, and doctor’s office. It turned out that without her knowledge or permission, Jolie’s ex had gained real-time access to her phone. This happened in 2014. But what if this was late June 2022, and Jolie, an Alabama resident, had searched for and obtained an abortion in violation of state law? Jolie’s ex would have had incriminating evidence to pass on to law enforcement. All too frequently, people monitor our intimate lives in betrayal of our trust—and it’s often those we know and love. They don’t even need to be near us to capture our data and to record our activities. Surveillance accomplished by individual privacy invaders will be a gold mine for prosecutors targeting both medical workers and pregnant people seeking abortions.
Danielle Citron, Abortion Bans Are Going to Make Stalkerware Even More Dangerous, Slate (July 5, 2022).