People who bought Samsung laptops may be sending private information to Samsung without their knowledge, according to a report from Network World.

Mohamed Hassan, a consultant at NetSec Consulting Corp., in Canada, said he found that two different Samsung computers he bought - models R525 and R540 - carried software that logs every keystroke a user makes, even those in password-protected boxes.

It then sends all that information to an unknown email address, whether or not the user is actually at the computer.

Hassan said he called Samsung about it, and Samsung's technical support department initially denied that it had installed that kind of software. After a conversation with a tech support supervisor, Hassan writes that the company admitted it had installed such a program in order to monitor how its computers are used.

The software Hassan found is called StarLogger. Besides logging every keystroke, it can send screenshots as well. The software is made by de Willebois Consulting, a Dutch software firm and is available for downloading.

The software can be found in the C: directory, under C:Windows and is marked SL.

The Federal Trade Commission heard a case about a similar software program used by Sony BMG. At the time, Sony was shipping CDs with a program on them that monitored user behavior and limited how CDs could be copied and played. The FTC ruled that such behavior was illegal and ordered Sony to pay damages.