Consumer Protection eBrief – 22/04/2013

22 April 2013|In Consumer Protection Act Briefs

In this issue:

  • United States: FTC approves order for utilising spyware on consumers

United States: FTC approves order for utilising spyware on consumers

The Federal Trade Commission (the “FTC”) has approved nine final orders settling charges that seven rent-to-own companies, two directors and a software design firm, spied on consumers by using the computers that consumers rented from the companies.

The companies used software to take screenshots of confidential and personal information, log customers’ computer keystrokes, and take webcam pictures of people in their own homes or offices without the customers’ knowledge. The respondents in the matter are DesignerWare, Timothy Kelly and Ronald P. Koller, Aspen Way Enterprises Inc., Watershed and Aaron’s Sales & Lease Ownership, Showplace Inc., J.A.G. Rents, Red Zone Investment Group Inc., ColorTyme, B. Stamper Enterprises Inc. and Premier Rental Purchase

In settling the FTC complaint, the respondent’s agreement’s will include prohibitions from using monitoring software, the use of geophysical location tracking, the use of fake software registration screens and providing others with the means or know how to commit the illegal acts. Further, all of the proposed settlements contain a record-keeping requirement which will enable the FTC to monitor compliance with the order for the next 20 years.

Final approval of the settlement is set for September 2013.

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