With all the privacy debates going on right now, here’s another angle to ponder: Should a PC rental store check up on its customers by secretly turning on a webcam?
Crystal and Brian Byrd of Casper, Wyo., claim the rent-to-buy chain Aaron’s did just that. They’ve filed a lawsuit against Aaron’s and DesignerWare, which makes the device behind the remote camera. The Byrds know they were “observed” because Aaron’s showed them a picture of Brian at the computer (which was a Dell Inspiron laptop, for the record).
Aaron’s says the practice is “absolutely legal.”
Privacy experts say Aaron’s has the right to remotely shut off computers if customers stop paying their bills, though customers must be told if they’re being monitored. The Byrds say they were never told.