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Aaron's computer rental chain settles FTC spying charges

Aaron's computer rental chain settles FTC spying charges | Business Transformation | Scoop.it

The rent-to-own computer company settles a complaint that accused it of secretly taking Webcam photos of users in their homes and recording keystrokes of Web site login credentials.

Karl Wabst's insight:

Business owners, take note. Using advances in digital technology to spy on customers is a bad idea.

If you plan to use any tracking technologies, let customers know in clear language. Get a signature to prove the user agreed to the practice. Seems like common sense in today's litigious world.

You may win in court. However, losing consumer trust will get the attention of stockholders. The FTC apparently believed Aaron's was unfair and deceptive. Fortunately, the agency had more influence than the judge in the civil suit.

Investing in a company known for secretly taking pictures of naked kids, adults having sex, or customers' financial information may cause harm to your stock portfolio.

Here's a recap if you missed the original stories.

 

Rent-to-own PCs surreptitiously captured users’ most intimate moments - Spyware installed on more than 420,000 PCs even recorded customers having sex.

http://arstechnica.com/security/2012/09/rent-to-own-pcs-surreptitiously-captured-users-most-intimate-moments/

 

Aaron’s initially issued a press release denying knowledge of the practice by franchisees. http://investor.aarons.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=104698&p=irol-newsArticle&ID=1559043&highlight=

Now, it looks like Aaron’s may just have poor internal controls.

 

Lawsuit Raises PC Rental Privacy Questions

http://www.newsy.com/videos/lawsuit-raises-pc-rental-privacy-questions/

 

FTC Complaint:
http://www.ftc.gov/os/caselist/1223264/131022aaronscmpt.pdf

 

Consumer lawsuit:
http://www.applieddiscovery.com/ws_display.asp?filter=Case%20Summaries%20Detail&item_id={EFBF0C34-EE83-4E27-8313-8057ED21BD5B}

 

 

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Business Transformation
Corporate and Business Strategy and Execution in the Post Industrial, Digital Economy. Want to know more? Visit me on LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/karlwabst/
Curated by Karl Wabst