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Dell Tech Support Remotely Turns Woman's Webcam On Without Permission

Illustration for article titled Dell Tech Support Remotely Turns Womans Webcam On Without Permission

Dianne Annunziato is accusing a Dell technician of becoming a virtual peeping Tom during a support call by remotely turning on her webcam.

"First, the technician started asking me what time of day it was," she said.

When she looked at her screen a minute later, Annunziato said she could see herself in a little box.

"He turned on the webcam; he never asked, 'May I? Can I?' Not a word, he just turned it on," she said.

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All I can say is, if I was in the woman's place during this call, the technician would have seen some naked adult content regardless of the time of day. Fortunately, the Annunziato was wearing clothes, but she was quick to point out the problem with all of this to the technician's supervisor.

"I said, 'I could have been sitting here undressed,' and the supervisor laughed, and I just sat there in shock," she said.

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So far, the technician's side of the story has not been heard—but Dell claims that they are currently investigating the incident. [NBCdfw via Consumerist]

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DISCUSSION

It's not whether or not she could have been naked, but whether or not she has a reasonable right to privacy. There is a reason why you have year the whole "this call maybe recorded..." nonsense when you call into customer service - there are legal requirements.

Unfortunately, congress hasn't really been brought up to the 21st century so this particular issue isn't exactly handled specifically by the courts - but if she wanted to - she could sue Dell for invading her privacy and she could make a few million.

If I was Michael Dell, I'd make a public statement saying that the technician has been fired, and that company policy has been updated. I'd also send her a free laptop as long as she signed a waiver (or something like that). You have curb lawsuits & bad PR as much as possible - and so far DELL looks like the bad guy.