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

 
smilesun
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09/28/2012 03:29 PM

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Rent-to-own PCs surreptitiously captured users' most intimate moments. Spyware installed on 420,000 PCs even recorded customers having sex
Seven rent-to-own companies and a software developer have settled federal charges that they used spyware to monitor the locations, passwords, and other intimate details of more than 420,000 customers who leased computers.

The software, known as PC Rental Agent, was developed by Pennsylvania-based DesignerWare. It was licensed by more than 1,617 rent-to-own stores in the US, Canada, and Australia to report the physical location of rented PCs. A feature known as Detective Mode also allowed licensees to surreptitiously monitor the activities of computer users. Managers of rent-to-own stores could use the feature to turn on webcams so anyone in front of the machine would secretly be recorded. Managers could also use the software to log keystrokes and take screen captures.

"In numerous instances, data gathered by Detective Mode has revealed private, confidential, and personal details about the computer user," officials with the Federal Trade Commission wrote in a civil complaint filed earlier this year. "For example, keystroke logs have displayed usernames and passwords for access to e-mail accounts, social media websites, and financial institutions."

In some cases, webcam activations captured images of children, individuals not fully clothed, and people engaged in sexual activities, the complaint alleged. Rental agreements never disclosed the information that was collected, FTC lawyers said.

PC Rental Agent also had the capability to display fake registration pages for Microsoft Windows, Internet Explorer, Microsoft Office, and Yahoo Messenger. When customers entered their names, addresses, and other personal information in the forms, the data was sent to DesignerWare servers and then e-mailed to the rent-to-own licensees.

Read more [link to arstechnica.com]
Anonymous Coward
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United States
12/10/2012 08:07 AM
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Re: Rent-to-own PCs surreptitiously captured users' most intimate moments. Spyware installed on 420,000 PCs even recorded customers having sex
"Under the proposed settlement, the defendants agreed to curb data-collecting software on rental PCs and also to stop using deception to gather any information from consumers. The settlement is subject to public comment for 30 days, after which the FTC will decide whether to make it final."

This is the "settlement"? NO PENALTY! They just have to be a bit more honest going forward. No restriction on the data and porn that they've already collected!
Anonymous Coward
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United States
12/10/2012 08:28 AM
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Re: Rent-to-own PCs surreptitiously captured users' most intimate moments. Spyware installed on 420,000 PCs even recorded customers having sex
Violating your right to privacy will be the norm soon.
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 29543254
United States
12/10/2012 08:29 AM
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Re: Rent-to-own PCs surreptitiously captured users' most intimate moments. Spyware installed on 420,000 PCs even recorded customers having sex
that's a lot of jerking off!
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 18813265
Australia
12/10/2012 08:51 AM
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Re: Rent-to-own PCs surreptitiously captured users' most intimate moments. Spyware installed on 420,000 PCs even recorded customers having sex
Hence why this thread was created yeahsure :

Thread: Everything you do on the computer, do it as if you're being watched.
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 18813265
Australia
12/10/2012 09:02 AM
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Re: Rent-to-own PCs surreptitiously captured users' most intimate moments. Spyware installed on 420,000 PCs even recorded customers having sex
bump
Anonymous Coward
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Australia
12/10/2012 04:07 PM
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Re: Rent-to-own PCs surreptitiously captured users' most intimate moments. Spyware installed on 420,000 PCs even recorded customers having sex
always cover your pc cam and stash your cells phones where they can't pick up any conversation when not in use.
El Tiburon

User ID: 28375544
United States
12/10/2012 04:09 PM

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Re: Rent-to-own PCs surreptitiously captured users' most intimate moments. Spyware installed on 420,000 PCs even recorded customers having sex
Is a rental PC like an Obama Phone
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 29572855
Ireland
12/10/2012 04:30 PM
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Re: Rent-to-own PCs surreptitiously captured users' most intimate moments. Spyware installed on 420,000 PCs even recorded customers having sex
Hey don't worry, while everyone was busy being distracted the UN just ensured that this will be the norm from now on.

Privacy is for communists anyway.

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