Former customers who are suing Aaron’s Inc. and its franchises claim that when the rental company installed remotely activated secret spyware on its rental computers, company employees had few, if any, concerns about the privacy of the customers whose screen shots, webcam photos and computer keystroke logs they intercepted and recorded. But—in the name of customer privacy—the lawyers defending the suits are seeking to limit public access to the litigation by asking for broad restrictions on the use of discovery in the cases.

In pleadings potential class action suits against Aaron’s and its franchises in federal court in Pennsylvania and in Atlanta, lawyers defending the rental company or its franchises have attempted to dramatically expand protective orders that plaintiffs’ lawyer Andrea Hirsch of Herman Gerel in Atlanta said originally were intended to shield from public scrutiny personal information such as passwords and bank account, credit card and Social Security numbers.

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