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Is it ever okay to track your partner? 33 women share their thoughts.

This post mentions domestic violence and could be triggering for some readers.

Conversations have been rife when it comes to parents using tracking apps such as Find My iPhone and Life360 to locate their kids - but to add to the discussion, we wanted to unpack the idea of whether it is ever okay to track your partner’s whereabouts? 

The responses we collected were pretty varied. Some find the tool helpful in making sure their loved one is home safe or travelling okay, while others noted the potential harmful role tracking apps can play in relation to cases of coercive control.

Watch: Should you admit to snooping in your partner's phone? Post continues below.


Video via Mamamia.

Here are 33 women’s thoughts on the matter.

“I don’t think it is okay. It’s used as a form of control in domestic and family violence and there should be trust in a healthy relationship. I would feel so uncomfortable about my partner tracking me and I know the same for me tracking him.”

“My husband and I both share our Google location with each other. We do it as a safety thing, given we both drive long distances for work in some remote areas. With that in mind, it’s useful to be able to see where each other is without having to call and distract while driving.”

“Omg, this has been a lifesaver for our marriage. My husband is a specialist and often gets caught at work, losing track of time. When our four children (who we had in the space of five years) were small it would frustrate me to no end when he would say he’d be home at six and we’d all have dinner together. Cue waiting, and cranky hungry children... Best thing ever for my sanity was being able to see that he was still at work, and the kids and I would eat and be much happier when he walked in the door. I do completely understand this is not an appropriate thing for some relationships and can be linked to coercive control, however there is always nuance. I should also add, it’s not something we use regularly: but as a great tool when he’s caught up doing emergency procedures.”

“There are so many variables. My husband is a sales rep so especially around Christmas time it’s so handy for me to know which shops he’s near so I can send him on errands! But on the serious side, there is so much potential for it to be used maliciously though. Definitely a case-by-case basis.”

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“I think it’s okay. My partner rides his bike to and from work and it’s helpful for me to check where he is, and also it’s a safety net in case something happens to him. In our case it’s not used for control or in a negative way, but I can definitely see how it could be.”

“As long as both parties know and agree, I don’t think it's a problem. Transparency is key.”

“We use Life360 and it is so handy! We are both super anxious people, like always thinking about the worst-case scenario. We have it send us notifications when we get to work or home. My husband works crazy hours and sometimes he gets home in the afternoon after being at work since 2am and falls asleep. If I don’t hear from him, I’m the type of person that thinks he has died in a car accident, so if he forgets to message me I know he got home safely. I think using these apps are only healthy if the right intentions are there.”

Image: Getty. 

“I have been in a situation previously where my boyfriend was abusing this tech to basically stalk me. If I was out with a friend, he wouldn’t trust my word, rather follow me using the tracking app. So for me, it’s just too ‘big brother watching’ and makes me uncomfortable.”

“Omg I track my hubby all the time. ‘Mum, can we wait outside for Dad to get home.’ ‘Umm, let me check if he’s close.’ *checks* ‘Nah, keep playing for five minutes and then we’ll go outside’.”

“My husband and I use Life360. It makes organising things way easier when he’s out and about, especially with our eldest. He thinks it’s great because he knows how long he has to tidy up the house before I get home! I think it’s a great tool if both partners agree.”

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Listen to The Undone: the red flags you’re probably missing. Post continues after audio.


“It can absolutely be abused, but in a healthy relationship it’s great for peace of mind (that my husband isn’t wrapped around a tree somewhere that is). If you completely trust your partner, and you have nothing to hide, secretly spying on your loved one could potentially destroy trust in a relationship - and it’s very hard to get that trust back. If a partner is tracking someone without their knowledge, the trust is already gone. What’s wrong with texting your partner if they haven’t let you know where they might be after work or for a weekend event.”

“We share the location on our phones. My dad passed away suddenly on the side of a road when out exercising previously. We both go out walking, running or kayaking and I want him to know where I am just in case and vice versa.”

“I don’t think it’s okay. I would hate for my husband to be tracking me without my consent. Although I often don't know where my husband is, as he is a shearer and travels a lot. People will ask me where he’s working and my response is often ‘in NSW somewhere’ or ‘in SA somewhere.’ I trust him, I know he’s coming home, why do I need to know exactly where he is?”

“My husband and I both have Google locations on share with each other. We live rurally and at times either of us might be driving long distances. When I used to work on the chaser at harvest, it was great for finding where my vehicle had been moved to while I wasn’t working.”

Image: Getty. 

“My husband and I were married before iPhones and tracking were a thing. We just had to wait it out until one another came back. I believe it’s not necessary for adults to be tracked. If you have a feeling a partner is cheating, you’ll be able to work it out using other ways!”

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“After watching the documentary series See What You Made Me Do on SBS, I realised just how damaging technology like this can be. It was really sobering to watch, and I recommend others do the same.”

“If you can’t trust your partner without knowing their every move, can you ever really trust them? If my partner suddenly said, ‘oh, by the way, I think we need to track each other so I can get dinner ready on time…’ I’d say, ‘FFS mate, dinner is the least of your relationship problems if you need to know my every move.’ I would see this as a major red flag that he doesn’t trust what I’m telling is the truth.”

“I think it is absolutely invaluable in the right context.”

“Older generations never had any of this and they didn’t need to know every minute of their partner's whereabouts. Even your partner being 20 minutes late? How about having some patience?”

“We have used Find My iPhone for a long time. It has been handy when cooking dinner to find out how far away hubby is. We also used it with our kids when they were teenagers. They knew and were happy to use money on our Apple ID in exchange. It was particularly handy when my daughter worked an afternoon shift and had to walk through the city late at night. She would text me and I would follow her phone to know she was okay. They are all adults now and are off it but hubby and I still follow each other’s phone, when we need to know where we are both at.”

“I wish that I had tracking on my partner’s phone, but he essentially has a Nokia brick. When he has his usual morning swims, it goes for an hour or so. One morning, he had been gone for two hours and I was completely terrified he had drowned, been eaten by a shark, or chosen another beach to swim at: who knows. It’s in times like that where I do think the tracking app would be handy just so I can at least have an idea of which beach he is at.”

“We have Life360 and love it. Once I was driving my son to surgery in a hospital in the city and I hate driving in the city. My husband knows this so it turns out he was keeping an eye on us via the tracking app. Just as I was starting to panic that I didn’t know where I needed to go (Google Maps was only adding to my confusion), he called and told me to quickly get into the left lane and take the next exit. It was a lifesaver! I can see how it could be a problem in some relationships, though. We use it with full transparency and consent from both of us.”

Image: Getty. 

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“Only if you have had the discussion with them and they themselves think it’s a good idea: definitely not without permission as that’s a breach of trust. Also, they should have confidence that if they feel the privilege is being abused they should be able to ask you to turn it off. The agency should always be with the one being tracked.” 

“We use Life360. It has been agreed to, during a family discussion, so we know where we are. Our three daughters have it on their phones as well. We also have no problems if we choose not to share location, like when trying to buy gifts or surprises for each other.”

“It’s a poisoned chalice and for the damage it does to those victims of controlling and violent behaviours, I’d say no. It’s either all on or all off so as long as the technology is able to be abused, it’s a hard no from me.”

“My husband and I are both shift workers and drive country roads. There are times (because of the work he does) he cannot ring me to say he’s going to be late home. Find My iPhone means I can at least see if he is still at work… or in a ditch on a dirt road somewhere and vice versa.”

“My husband and I know our schedules and if something comes up, or we won’t be home when we usually are, we just call or text each other. I can see it being beneficial if your partner was on call, and couldn’t reach them easily. Other than that I'm scratching my head as to why you wouldn’t just call or text each other. If my husband suggested it, I’d probably be caught off guard as there doesn’t seem to be any reason as to why we need it. We function just fine as it is.”

“I know lots who do and I think it’s definitely got merit but I work in law enforcement and my locations are off to not breach confidential matters.”

“I’ve been married for 32 years. We had our kids all on Life360 whilst they were under 18 for safety. Both kids are off it now but my partner and I keep it for each other. It’s great to pull up to the house and have the garage door opened for you.”

Image: Getty. 

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“I wouldn't want it done to me, so I wouldn’t do it. I'm sure there are great circumstances where it works (families etc) but not for me.”

“It depends on the reason. For instance, my husband took our baby out for a few hours the other day and he wasn’t home by the time he’d said he would be and he knew it was important because she would need to be breastfed at that time. I texted him and heard nothing. I then had the idea to check our joint bank account and saw he’d paid to exit the shopping centre a few minutes earlier, and sure enough was home not long after. Had I not known that, I would have been very panicked for the 20 minutes he was late. So, the ability to track his location in that sense really did help. In saying that, I have no reason to do it 99 per cent of the time and I think it could be dangerous to normalize this kind of thing, from a domestic abuse and coercive control angle.”

“Umm if you feel the need to track your partner, there is a problem.”

“Like with anything, consent is an important part of this conversation. Also, the removal of consent and the ability to control who can and can not trace your whereabouts and how.”

Let us know in the comments your perspective on this topic.

If this post brings up any issues for you, or if you just feel like you need to speak to someone, please call 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732) – the national sexual assault, domestic and family violence counselling service. It doesn’t matter where you live, they will take your call and, if need be, refer you to a service closer to home. 

You can also call safe steps 24/7 Family Violence Response Line on 1800 015 188 or visit www.safesteps.org.au for further information.

Feature Image: Getty + Mamamia.