Aarons "Rent to Own" computers are spying on you.

techs

Lifer
Sep 26, 2000
28,561
4
0
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110504/ap_on_re_us/us_rental_computer_spyware

You didn't pay your bill. We need our computer back. And here's a picture of you typing away on it, the computer rental company told a client as it tried to repossess the machine.

Those allegations appear in a federal lawsuit alleging that the firm, Atlanta-based Aaron's Inc., loaded computers with spyware to track renters' keystrokes, make screenshots and even take webcam images of them using the devices at home. The suit filed by a Wyoming couple Tuesday raises anew questions of how invasive custodians of technology should be in protecting their equipment.

Computer privacy experts said Aaron's, a major furniture rental chain, has the right to equip its computers with software it can use to shut off the devices remotely if customers stop paying their bills, but they must be told if they're being monitored.

"If I'm renting a computer ... then I have a right to know what the limitations are and I have a right to know if they're going to be collecting data from my computer," said Annie Anton, a professor and computer privacy expert with North Carolina State University.

But the couple who sued Aaron's said they had no clue the computer they rented last year was equipped with a device that could spy on them. Brian Byrd, 26, and his wife, Crystal, 24, said they didn't even realize that was possible until a store manager in Casper came to their home Dec. 22.

The manager tried to repossess the computer because he mistakenly believed the Byrds hadn't paid off their rent-to-own agreement. When Brian Byrd showed the manager a signed receipt, the manager showed Byrd a picture of Byrd using the computer — taken by the computer's webcam.

Byrd demanded to know where the picture came from, and the manager "responded that he was not supposed to disclose that Aaron's had the photograph," the lawsuit said.




PSA-Don't fap in front of an Aarons computer. And pay your bill.
 

PottedMeat

Lifer
Apr 17, 2002
12,365
475
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hahaha

Byrd demanded to know where the picture came from, and the manager "responded that he was not supposed to disclose that Aaron's had the photograph," the lawsuit said.

a4qzps.jpg



anyone want to guess how they do the monitoring? hardware? you could probably get past software by doing a restore
 

Wyndru

Diamond Member
Apr 9, 2009
7,318
4
76
I've never even heard of rent to own PC's. Are you allowed to reload the os when you get these, or will they reclaim them from you if they lose connection to them?
 

smartpatrol

Senior member
Mar 8, 2006
870
0
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Holy crap, why would you rent-to-own a computer? You'll end up paying a lot more for it, and it will have lost like half its value by the time you finish paying it off.
 

highland145

Lifer
Oct 12, 2009
43,290
5,721
136
Holy crap, why would you rent-to-own a computer? You'll end up paying a lot more for it, and it will have lost like half its value by the time you finish paying it off.
Because stupid people are stupid.

I WANT IT NOW! I WANT IT NOW, DAMN IT.

Edit: Wyndru:see above. "os? Who da fu is os?"
 

Texashiker

Lifer
Dec 18, 2010
18,811
197
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Computer privacy experts said Aaron's, a major furniture rental chain, has the right to equip its computers with software it can use to shut off the devices remotely if customers stop paying their bills, but they must be told if they're being monitored.

So if you do not pay your house mortgage, the bank can cut off your electricity, stop your garbage pickup and turn off your water?

Personally, I think looking inside someones house goes too far.
 

highland145

Lifer
Oct 12, 2009
43,290
5,721
136
So if you do not pay your house mortgage, the bank can cut off your electricity, stop your garbage pickup and turn off your water?

Personally, I think looking inside someones house goes too far.
Nah. They just have automatic locks to keep you from going in.
 

edro

Lifer
Apr 5, 2002
24,328
68
91
Invasion of privacy seems as illegal as it comes.
Everyone is guaranteed a right to privacy inside their home.
 

Vette73

Lifer
Jul 5, 2000
21,503
8
0
I know the US has some messed up laws but this cant be legal can it?


Depends what is in the lease. Remember this is a rent to own. So the computer is not your property.

BUT in this case he will win IMO. The reason is he did pay for the computer so it was his. It was no longer a rent to own/lease.
 

trmiv

Lifer
Oct 10, 1999
14,668
1
81
Wow, Aaron's must have quite a collection of pictures of people jerking off. How can this be legal?
 

edro

Lifer
Apr 5, 2002
24,328
68
91
It doesn't matter if he owned the computer or not.
Even if it was leased, he still has an expectation of privacy.

Look at landlord rules. A landlord cannot walk into his own property without giving notice.

Unless the lease specifically says that the renter gives Aaron's permission to video record inside their home, the guy will win...
 

Vette73

Lifer
Jul 5, 2000
21,503
8
0
It doesn't matter if he owned the computer or not.
Even if it was leased, he still has an expectation of privacy.

Look at landlord rules. A landlord cannot walk into his own property without giving notice.

Unless the lease specifically says that the renter gives Aaron's permission to video record inside their home, the guy will win...


False. Most states have rules that allow entery in many cases where the person leasing does not give permission.
 

Fear No Evil

Diamond Member
Nov 14, 2008
5,922
0
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I wonder how many pictures of underage children they have. The feds should be raiding them for child pornography. The picture thing is just so over the top its not funny. I can see monitoring software which may report the IP of the computer to the company in case the customer stops paying, of course that should all be disabled when the customer has purchased it.
 

Meghan54

Lifer
Oct 18, 2009
11,527
5,044
136
All the hoopla about the pics...which I agree is bad enough.....but no one is going off on the keylogger software? That crap was giving Aaron's essentially access to your bank account, all your personal info, etc.

To me, that's at least as intrusive. But, again, the pics would seem to be enough to bury Aaron's with this lawsuit, esp. with the precedence set by the high school case.
 

techs

Lifer
Sep 26, 2000
28,561
4
0
About two years ago an Aarons opened in my town.
I almost went in to look around a few months ago when I needed a new couch. Now I am glad I didn't.

If people just used their wallets they could stop companies from doing this shit.

If this turns out to be company policy, NEVER buy anything from Aarons. Ever.
No matter how sorry they claim to be in the future nor how much they "prove"
it will never happen again.

"Let the word go forth unto the children of America. We won't stand for this shit anymore"
 

Genx87

Lifer
Apr 8, 2002
41,095
513
126
False. Most states have rules that allow entery in many cases where the person leasing does not give permission.

I'd be surprised if this didnt revolve around emergency situations. Otherwise a notice you will be showing up at the property is needed.
 

MiniDoom

Diamond Member
Jan 5, 2004
5,307
0
71
They should have blamed it on a bug and said it would be fixed with an update...
 

Homerboy

Lifer
Mar 1, 2000
30,856
4,974
126
The REAL story has been updated:

http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/aarons-inc-responds-to-lawsuit-121194359.html


ATLANTA, May 3, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Aaron's, Inc. (NYSE: AAN), the nation's leader in the sales and lease ownership and specialty retailing of residential furniture, consumer electronics and home appliances and accessories, said today that a lawsuit filed by a Wyoming couple regarding a violation of privacy relating to a computer they rented from an Aaron's franchise store is without merit against Aaron's, Inc.

The Company believes that none of its over 1,140 Company-operated stores have used the product developed or provided by PC Rental Agent or Designerware LLC, the two vendors named in the lawsuit, and neither vendor is approved or have done any business with Aaron's, Inc.

Aaron's, Inc. respects its customers' privacy and has not authorized any of its corporate stores to install software that can activate a customer's webcam, capture screenshots, or track keystrokes. The named plaintiffs leased the computer at issue from an independently owned and operated franchisee. Aaron's, Inc. intends to vigorously defend itself against these allegations.

Aaron's, Inc., based in Atlanta, currently has more than 1,830 Company-operated and franchised stores in 48 states and Canada. The Company also manufactures furniture and bedding at 12 facilities in seven states.
 

techs

Lifer
Sep 26, 2000
28,561
4
0
The REAL story has been updated:

http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/aarons-inc-responds-to-lawsuit-121194359.html


ATLANTA, May 3, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Aaron's, Inc. (NYSE: AAN), the nation's leader in the sales and lease ownership and specialty retailing of residential furniture, consumer electronics and home appliances and accessories, said today that a lawsuit filed by a Wyoming couple regarding a violation of privacy relating to a computer they rented from an Aaron's franchise store is without merit against Aaron's, Inc.

BULLSHIT and SHENS!!!!

PRN is not news source. Its a place for corporations to post thier public announcements.

The REAL story has only been updated to the degree Aarons denies it did this a corporation.

Misleading post by Homerboy.
Though it's quite possible Homerboy doesn't think the iPhone is tracking you too.
 

edro

Lifer
Apr 5, 2002
24,328
68
91
False. Most states have rules that allow entery in many cases where the person leasing does not give permission.
Technically, you are right, but only for emergencies.

R.C. 5321.04(A)(8) states that the landlord must: "Except in the case of emergency or if it is impracticable to do so, give the tenant reasonable notice of his intent to enter and enter only at reasonable times. Twenty-four hours is presumed to be a reasonable notice in the absence of evidence to the contrary."