The Federal Trade Commission on Tuesday released a bombshell privacy agreement it reached with eight companies, most of them PC rental firms and one software company, for using PC tracking and security software called "Detective Mode" to spy on customers, including taking pictures of them using the PC's webcameras, without consumers' knowledge or consent.
The eight companies named include:
- DesignerWare, LLC
- Aspen Way Enterprises, Inc.
- B. Stamper Enterprises, Inc.
- C.A.L.M. Ventures, Inc.
- J.A.G. Rents, LLC
- Red Zone Investment Group, Inc
- Showplace, Inc.
- Watershed Development Corp.
The FTC's agreement with the companies prevents them from repeating the snooping activities without expressed affirmative consumer approval and bans them from using the information collected using the "Detective Mode" software. It also bans the maker of the "Detective Mode" software, DesignerWare, from using it again. But the companies do not face a fine or other penalty.