But it's not just government that's watching us. Private companies do it all the time. Every time a credit card is scanned or a store rewards card is used, some company is saving information about what we spend, where we spend it and what we're spending it on. That kind of information can be turned into powerful, target marketing tools to expand sales even more.
We may not like that our every consumer move is tracked, but at least we have some vague idea why it's being done.
Less understandable is what
What possible purpose there was to this behavior is hard to fathom, since it included capturing images of customers engaged in what the FTC called "intimate activities."
The FTC accused Aaron's and its franchisees of using software to monitor customers' computer keystrokes and secretly watch them in their homes through the computers' webcams.
Aaron's nonresponse response to the allegations: "At this time, we aren't able to provide further detail regarding this matter."
Under terms of a proposed settlement with the FTC, the company and its franchisees are prohibited from using monitoring technology that captures keystrokes or screen shots and will not activate the webcam and microphone on a customer's computer, except to provide technical support requested by customers.
That seems the least the company can do.
(c)2013 The Record (Stockton, Calif.)
Visit The Record (Stockton, Calif.) at www.recordnet.com
Distributed by MCT Information Services