A New York City artist, who installed spyware onto public computers to snap photos of customers in Apple stores was visited by US Secret Service this week.

Kyle McDonald used the built-in cameras on Macbooks and other Apple products to capture images of about 1,000 people as they examined new Apple computers.

His computers, iPod and digital storage devices  were confiscated as authorities conduct their investigation.

@secretservice just stopped by to investigate peoplestaringatcomputers.tumblr.com and took my laptop. please assume they're reading any emails you send me, McDonald said via Twitter Thursday.

Over the course of three days, McDonald installed his homegrown software, which captured photos every minute and sent them to his server.

 Reports said that McDonald did this across computers at nearly 100 stores. He said he had the permission of Apple security guards.

In early July, he arranged an unauthorized exhibition at two Apple stores where customers were first shown a picture of themselves and then photos of other Apple store visitors.

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, McDonald said of the project.

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?'

Regarding the case itself, McDonald, said that he had been advised not to comment on the case by the online freedom group the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

See a sampling of the photos below, or click here for a slideshow of all the works