The Mis-Adventures in Technology of an Old Dog Learning New Tricks…

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — The Federal Trade Commission reached an agreement with Aaron’s Inc. to block the product rental company from secretly tracking customers who rented computers, including the surreptitious webcamming of “intimate activities.”

The FTC said that Aaron’s, an Atlanta-based chain of about 2,000 company-owned and franchised rental stores, rented out computers installed with software known as Detective Mode. This allowed the company to track the renters’ data through keystrokes, screen shots and webcam images, the commission said.

“Detective Mode’s surreptitious capture of the private details of individual and family life — including images of visitors, children, family interactions, partially undressed individuals, and people engaged in intimate conduct — cause actual consumer harm,” read the complaint that the FTC filed earlier this year.

The complaint also said that the secret data gathering placed consumers at risk by exposing financial and medical information through screen shots containing Social Security numbers…

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