Submission Number: 00066
Received: 10/13/2012 6:17:27 PM
State: New York
Agency: Federal Trade Commission
Initiative: Proposed Consent Agreement In the Matter of DesignerWare, LLC; FTC File No. 1123151
Attachments: No Attachments
I do not see where you can claim these companies’ spied on anyone. From what I see is you have software that was specifically designed to NOT be installed until such time a computer was reported stolen. Other packages install software that can spy but not this product. For example, if you used Norton or Absolute the rental store would actually be installing monitoring software. This product, according to what I have read, is specifically designed to not install anything other than the lockdown unless the computer is reported stolen.
Since the reporting of stolen computers is restricted and secure, this protects someone from using it and it allows the rental store to state no such software is installed. You might think there is no difference, but this is big. It is very difficult to hold Designwear responsible when they only make it available in a restricted form. They only have the owner’s word that it is stolen, but what more would you want them to do? This is how the software works and I do not think Designwear should be held responsible for its misuse. Furthermore, I have never read anything from Designwear that states anything other than stolen computers are to be monitored. This is not so different than Norton and Absolute products that are on the market.
So what do we have here then? We have a software package that was designed to lockdown a computer when the rental time expired. Then if the computer does NOT get returned or the renter claims it cannot be returned because it was stolen, the owner can take pictures of someone filling out a fake registration form to determine if the renter really is lying and still has it, or someone else does.
This is NOT a spying case nor is it a consumer privacy issue. You might, with emphasizes on might, have a few rental stores over zealously reporting computers stolen; but I see no reason why they would do that. You definitely have an overzealous FTC that did not properly investigate this. But that is a separate issue and should be addressed separately.
Please rewrite your findings to properly reflect what was going on.