Ill. laptop company accused of spying on customers

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CHICAGO (AP) — Illinois’ attorney general and the Federal Trade Commission have agreed on a settlement with an Illinois company accused of using computer software to spy on customers who rented laptops.

Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s office says Lake Bluff-based Watershed Development Corporation agreed to stop the practice.

Madigan’s office says the software allowed the company to remotely lock a computer, record keystrokes and screenshots containing personal information and track users’ locations.

The attorney general says the company was using the software to locate customers who had missed payments on lease agreements.

Madigan said Tuesday such practices are “offensive invasions of personal privacy” and violate the Illinois Consumer Fraud Act.

Watershed is a franchisee of Aaron’s Inc., which operates stores throughout northwest Illinois.

The company did not respond to a message seeking comment.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

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