Proposed Consent Agreement In the Matter of DesignerWare, LLC, FTC File No. 1123151 #00014

Submission Number:
00014
Commenter:
Douglas Goodall
Organization:
Self
State:
California
Initiative Name:
Proposed Consent Agreement In the Matter of DesignerWare, LLC, FTC File No. 1123151

As a very experienced software engineer, whose clients have included directly or indirectly both Motorola, and the Federal Reserve Bank, I feel I have the credentials to comment about this issue. As a developer, I have been asked at various times in my career to do specific things that I was uncomfortable about. In some cases I thought these things were unethical, and in some cases I thought they most probably were illegal. Over the years I have chosen to follow both my instincts, and what I may know of the law, and have never willingly or unwillingly participated in dubious software practices. At the very least I have been contractually obligated to provide software that does not infringe on the intellectual property rights of others, and that would not leave the clients open to liability where it might have been avoided. I believe that DesignerWare acted unethically at the very least when providing software for redistribution that was designed and engineered to capture pictures from webcams without notification or permission. And the same when it comes to capturing screen images and then transmitting them to a covert server somewhere on the Internet. Beyond the act of creating such unethical software, the decision by DesignerWare to have that data delivered to their server where the data would then be available to their staff was a grevous mistake as well, as this data was in no practical sense of any specific value to them, and only of value to the rental company. But for perverse reasons, the DesignerWare engineers felt the need for the data to be hosted where they could access it as well (see the photos and read the captured data). I condemn DesignerWare, its engineering staff and project management staff who must have been aware of what was going on, of unethical behavior, not worthy of a professional Software Engineer, and detrimental to the overall trust of software engineers in the professional realm. If there were credentials that could be withdrawn, I would recommend the doing so. Thanks for taking the time to read my opinion. Douglas Goodall [redacted]