Study sheds light on inter-couple smartphone snooping

If you don’t trust someone, take your phone with you to the bathroom

I know someone who admitted to using their partner’s finger to unlock Touch ID while they were asleep. They then scrolled through their messages for evidence of cheating. Resourceful but surely an automatic deal breaker? Scientists say this is not always the case.

A small study by the University of British Columbia and the University of Lisbon showed that 26 of 45 participants said their relationship survived the spying. Although not exactly a representative sample, it did shed some light on phone snooping among couples.

"In such cases, the victim explained away the snooping by considering it as a sign that they should reassure their romantic partner about their commitment to the relationship. They ended up excusing the behaviour and, in some cases, continued to give the other person access to their phone," said study author Ivan Beschastnikh.

One finding was that this happens most often when the phone owner is using the bathroom or taking a shower. So, if you don’t trust someone, take your phone with you. Or, you know, maybe reconsider the relationship because this isn’t really about smartphone security.