Barton hints at tougher privacy laws in response to computer spying case

"How does this differ from someone sneaking into your house to secretly watch you or steal from you? This is preposterous and must come to an end."

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The Federal Trade Commission announced on Tuesday that it reached a settlement with seven computer rental companies under which the companies agreed to stop spying against their customers and stop using data collection software in their computers without permission.

However, the FTC did not impose any fines against DesignerWare, the company that licensed data-collection software to rental stores like Aaron's, ColorTyme and Premier Rental Purchase. Barton said stronger enforcement mechanisms are needed, and that legislation is the way to get there.

"I am glad that the Federal Trade Commission has filed charges against these companies and the software designer, but I believe that we desperately need stronger privacy laws to fight against this type of behavior. Everyone should have a say in how their personal information is used.

"In my mind, it is not only the right thing to do, but it is the American thing to do."

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