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Apple Sics Secret Service on Laptop Spy

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Looks like Gizmodo isn't the only party who's run afoul of the Apple-sponsored law. And it's all because a derivative artist couldn't think ahead.

As part of an extremely short-sighted art project, artist Kyle MacDonald installed a spyware program onto roughly 100 MacBooks in Apple Stores throughout New York City. The program discreetly took webcam photos of users every minute and uploaded it to MacDonald's private servers. The conceit behind the piece was to capture users' expressions as they stare into computer screens. How original.

"I thought maybe we could see ourselves doing this we would think more about our computers and how we're using them," he told Mashable. "We have this expression on our face [when we use computers] that basically says that we're not interacting with anybody, we're interacting with the machine."

He added, "Even if there are a lot of people in the room at the Apple store, you're not interacting with them. If something weird happens, you don't say, 'Hey, did you see that?' "

Strangers in crowded retail areas don't interact? Crazy, that.

MacDonald compiled thousands of photos into a video of such groundbreaking artistic merit, its countless predecessors featuring the exact same concept are entirely forgotten.

People Staring at Computers from Kyle McDonald on Vimeo.

Of course, when one pushes the creative envelope and broadens society's horizons, it's usually not without consequence. In this case, four Secret Service agents arrived at MacDonald's door yesterday morning with a search warrant -- courtesy of Apple's itchy legal team. According to Mashable, the men "confiscated two computers, an iPod and two flash drives, and told McDonald that Apple would contact him separately."

Surprisingly, our generation's Christo doesn't believe he did anything illegal. He claims to have gotten each store's permission to take photos and surveyed each customer if it was all right to take their picture. And dealing with a fraud case, well, that would detract too much from his art projects.

"My main thought is that I'd rather spend my time and money making new work rather than dealing with a computer fraud investigation," MacDonald said.

Yeah. Shame you may not have a choice in the matter.

(See also: Steve Jobs' Worst Nightmare Comes True and Another MacBook Thief Gets Nabbed with Public Humiliation)

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