FTC orders 'rent-to-own' computer store to stop spying on 'intimate activities' of customers
Male eye spying through a keyhole (Shutterstock)

The Federal Trade Commission has ordered Aaron's Inc. and its franchisees to stop spying on customers who rent their computers.


The FTC accused Aaron's of monitoring customer keystrokes and secretly recording the "intimate activities" of those who rented computers with webcams. Aaron's Inc., based in Atlanta, agreed to a settlement.

Under the terms of the settlement, Aaron's Inc. and all its franchisees are prohibited from using monitoring technology that captures keystrokes or screen shots from the computers rented to their customers.

"Consumers have a right to rent computers free of cyberspying and to know when and how they are being tracked by a company," Jessica Rich, director of the FTC’s consumer protection bureau, told the Los Angeles Times. "By enabling their franchisees to use this invasive software, Aaron’s facilitated a violation of many consumers' privacy."

Despite the settlement, shares of stock in Aaron's Inc. were up 2 percent in trading today.

["Scared male eye spying through a keyhole macro" on Shutterstock]