This morning I came across this brief article: FTC settles PC spying charges with rent-to-own computers. To paraphrase the text: The FTC caught people participating in jaw-dropping invasions of privacy, and brought the miscreants to justice.
Before we get to the penalty phase, let’s review some of the things these people did without the knowledge of the people using rental computers: They captured screen shots (that could have personal information like bank statements and legal documents), they captured user’s keystrokes (a technique for stealing passwords), and they even used the built-in cameras to send back pictures without the knowledge of the users. Apparently (according to other articles) pictures of children and of people having sex were collected.
There’s no reason to do this if you don’t plan to use that information, and there’s no use for that information that isn’t simply evil.
We can be happy then, that the boys at the FTC are on the job! At the very least, you’d figure Washington wants a monopoly on invading our privacy. So what was the ‘settlement’ they reached with these thieving bastards?
Oh, it was severe all right. They got the bad guys to promise not to do it anymore.
Shit, at least make them pick up litter for a weekend.