The Federal Trade Commission says Atlanta-based furniture renter Aaron's Inc. has agreed to a settlement over allegations that it helped place spyware on computers that secretly monitored consumers by taking webcam pictures of them in their homes.
The FTC said in a Tuesday news release that Aaron's will be prohibited from using spyware that captures screenshots or activates the camera on a consumer's computer, except to provide requested technical support.
Aaron's officials previously blamed individual franchisees for the spyware. But the FTC said Aaron's knowingly played a direct role in the use of the spyware.
According to the settlement, Aaron's didn't admit or deny the allegations. The company also said it can't comment because of pending private lawsuits.
The public has 30 days to comment on the proposed settlement.
Aaron's has more than 1,800 company-operated and franchised stores in 48 states and Canada, according to its website.
First published October 22 2013, 4:48 PM