Submission Number: 00014
Received: 10/9/2012 1:53:12 PM
Commenter: T Mekerson
Agency: Federal Trade Commission
Initiative: Proposed Consent Agreement In the Matter of Watershed Development Corp., also doing business as Watershed and Aaron’s Sales & Lease Ownership; FTC File No. 1123151
Attachments: No Attachments
Big news! The FTC discovered that if someone renting a computer that reports it stolen will have the webcam turned on and pictures will be taken along with screenshots to see if the person is lying! These evil owners will also have a fake registration program to ask information in an attempt to get the thief to reveal who and where they are located. They will then drive over and recover their property from these people even though the person using it is the one that reported it stolen which caused this ALL to happen. They will of course deny it until they are shown their stupid face in a picture taken from the webcam.
I think this sums up what actually happens.
Now if you want to regulate something then regulate that the rental store has to use 12pt font and give disclosure as to actually what is loaded. How, why, and what will cause the owner to turn on the webcam, screenshots, keystrokes if the computer is reported stolen. If the renter does NOT report the computer stolen then the rental store agrees not to install this software. However, if the rental contract expires and 10 days has passed, the rental store can report the computer stolen and install this software. The owner can only use these pictures, screenshots, etc to recover their property and can only disclose it to local law enforcement and any 3rd party disclosure is not allowed. Once recovered, all said information needs to be destroyed.
What you have here is people not reading their rental contract and not taking responsibility. You also have rental stores probably disabling the startup message because renters get feed-up with this constant pop-up and they probably avoid telling them too much. After all, you don’t want to start out a rental contract reading them ‘fire and brimstone’ statements about what will happen if they steal the computer. They are explaining the benefits of the program and features of what they’re renting and the fact about being able to turn on the webcam is probably not the most important thing being discussed at the time.