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Sears and Kmart Websites Install Spyware on Computers

Bad Sears, BAD!

The sick thing about this story is that the spyware wasn't a hack against these companies, but was planned and sanctioned by the companies.

Between April 2007 and January 2008, visitors to the Kmart and Sears web sites were invited to join an "online community" for which they would be paid $10 with the idea they would be helping the company learn more about their customers. It turned out they learned a lot more than participants realized or that the feds thought was reasonable. To join the "My SHC Community," users downloaded software that ended up grabbing some members' prescription information, emails, bank account data and purchases on other sites. Sears called the group that participated "small" and said the data captured by the program was at all times secure and was then destroyed.

Remember that there are no laws currently to protect against the abusive data collection and sharing practices that many companies employ. Be careful with your data and don't trust even the most reputable-seeming companies to choose your privacy over the almighty dollar.

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