A furniture rental chain called Aaron's Inc. is being sued for allegedly installing hardware- and software-based spyware on the laptops it rented, and using them to log keystrokes, take covert webcam photos and screenshots, and transmit them to the company's offices. The suit was brought by Brian and Crystal Byrd, whose payments for their rented laptop were allegedly pocketed by a corrupt employee; the employee's manager believed that they were in arrears on their laptop payments, so he came to their home to repossess the machine, and stressed the seriousness of his claim by showing them photos of the couple that had been covertly snapped with the machine's webcam.
The Byrds have initiated a class-action suit on behalf of other Aaron's customers who've been spied upon by their rented laptops. They emphasize their distress at the idea that photos of them and their underage children, undressed or partially clothed, might have been taken and transmitted to Aaron's without their knowledge or consent. I assume the case will also make reference to banking passwords, privileged attorney-client communications, and other confidential material that Aaron's had the potential to intercept.
That's when the Byrds contacted police, who, their attorney said, have determined the image was shot with the help of spying software, which the lawsuit contends is made by North East, Pa.-based Designerware LLC and is installed on all Aaron's rental computers. Designerware is also being sued.
Pa. suit: Furniture rental co. spies on PC users
"It feels like we were pretty much invaded, like somebody else was in our house," Byrd told the AP. "It's a weird feeling, I can't really describe it. I had to sit down for a minute after he showed me that picture."
Aaron's, which also manufactures furniture and bedding, said it believes that none of its more than 1,140 company-operated stores had used Designerware's product or had done any business with it.
With the cacophony of an election year ablaze with unparalleled drama being fought on the front lines of Twitter, we find ourselves slowing down and staring at it like a bad accident. The need for escapist relief is perhaps more dire than usual right now. This fall, if it’s drama you crave, but the Hillary […]
Today a future without schools. Instead of gathering students into a room and teaching them, everybody learns on their own time, on tablets and guided by artificial intelligence. Flash Forward: RSS | iTunes | Twitter | Facebook | Web | Patreon | RedditIn this episode we talk to a computer scientist who developed an artificially […]
Where are our petabyte drives? Brian Hayes takes us through the reasons storage is “stuck” in the low terabytes. The tl;dr is that we got such exceptional capacity growth in the late 90s and early 00s we don’t need much more right now, so the focus since then has been on SSDs, networking, interfaces, etc, […]
These days, the vape market is saturated with low-quality products, making it nearly impossible to separate the gems from the duds. The Atmos Rx Dry Herb Vaporizer stands out from crowd for two reasons: its impressive battery life and durable construction. This high-end little gadget is compact enough to fit in your pocket, and packs a powerful punch, […]
If you’re like us, you occasionally get ambitious with your dinner and try to cook multiple sides plus a main dish. These efforts usually end as a cold meal plus a pile of dishes to wash. MasterPan Multi-Sectional Meal Skillet makes it super easy to make multiple dishes at once without the hassle. This heavy gauge bottom pan […]
The Lytro Illum is our all-time best-selling camera and here’s our best deal yet. Apply the code “Lytro10” to save an extra 10% off on this camera’s mind-blowing functionality in this exclusive one day only sale.