1300SPOUSE

No privacy for spouses (Check Mate)

1300SPOUSE

On SPOUSE-BUSTING: Intimacy, Adultery and Surveillance Technology,

Melissa Gregg

“The rise in online communication has brought an accompanying demand for services that facilitate, obscure and discover intimate and adulterous behavior, from dating sites to detective services and location-based tracking devices. This paper takes recent examples of  “spouse-busting” applications to investigate the relationship between intimacy, transparency and security. Adultery anxieties hold useful lessons for surveillance studies, since intimacy often means entitlement to a certain kind of knowledge – the provision of which equates to dominant ideals of commitment, care and trust. As Laura Kipnis argues, the modern relationship is one in which lovers “ must know everything there is to know about one another ”(2003, 162). This premise accords with broader transformations in intimacy encouraging openness and communication between self-directed individuals (Giddens 1992, Shumway 2003, Illouz 2007). According to Kipnis, the practice of “withholding information or having secrets is a definite warning sign of relationship distress ” , since “in principle nothing should be off limits (even if on occasion, ‘making sure’ may be required)”(2003,162-3). Spouse monitoring software provides the means for  “ making sure”. It demonstrates a major tenet of contemporary intimacy in so far as it presumes there is no need for privacy “if there’s nothing to hide”.”

 

 

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