I continue to be surprised at how little coverage I’m seeing in mainstream media about a case involving software that can and allegedly has take(n) remote screenshots of customers in their homes without their knowledge.
I’ve posted a few blog entries on the potential class action lawsuit against Aaron’s Inc, Aspen Way Enterprises (a franchisee), and DesignerWare LLC. But read Lisa Thompson’s coverage of what a former franchisee employee told the court last month:
A former sales manager at an Aaron’s store owned by a franchisee in the state of Washington told the judge that in her experience, the detective mode of the software, PC Rental Agent, was used not only in cases of “stolen” merchandise.
Some managers stored data that was collected secretly from customers’ computers, said Chastity Hittinger.
She said she had seen screen shots of customer’s bank accounts and Macy’s bills and a photo that captured a woman sitting at her computer smoking a marijuana water pipe.
When asked what the managers did with the data, she said, “They would just sit around and joke about it.”
Hittinger said she worked at a franchisee-owned Aaron’s in Moses Lake, Wash., between September 2009 and March 2010 and then sporadically until May 11, when she left on good terms.
Stay on it, Ms. Thompson, please. Stores have a right to reasonable security, but it sounds like people have no idea that they may be viewed in their homes. And I’ll bet dollars to donuts that customers do not wade through rental agreements to find any clause in there that may actually notify them of this – assuming for now that there even is such a clause.