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Rent-to-own chain monitored consumers through webcams

Posted by: Alejandra Matos under Businesses in hot water Updated: October 28, 2013 - 1:19 PM

A rent-to-own chain secretly monitored customers through webcams on the computers they rented, capturing "intimate activities" and personal information, such as login credentials for email and financial accounts, according to the Federal Trade Commission. 

The FTC reached a settlement last week with Aaron's Inc, an Atlanta-based company that rents computers, furniture and other electronics, after the FTC alleged Aaron's installed software on rental computers that tracked customers. 

Aaron's monitoring activities included location tracking, but the FTC says they also "captured images through the computers' webcams, including those of adults engaged in intimate activities, and activated keyloggers that captured users' login credentials for email accounts and financial and social media sites." 

The company must delete and destroy any stored information that was improperly collected. The company is also prohibited from using monitoring technology.

The company is allowed to install location tracking software of a rented products but must first give "clear notice and obtain express consent from consumers."

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