Sears Got Caught With Their Hand In The ‘Spyware’ Cookie Jar

The FTC had charged Sears and K Mart with knowingly deceiving consumers by placing spyware on their systems to track their every move. Sears Holding Company attracted consumers by paying them $10 to download and install the software on their computers. The software was to track their online browser only, but it was later learned that the software did more than that.

According to a recent article it states that:

According to the FTC’s administrative complaint, while Sears told consumers the software would only track their “online browsing,” the software also monitored their online secure sessions — including sessions on third parties’ Web sites. That meant everything from online bank statements to drug prescription records to the sender, recipient, subject and size fields of Web-based e-mails.

The software also tracked some computer activities that were not related to the Internet, according to the FTC.

Under the proposed settlement, Sears would agree to “stop collecting data from the consumers who downloaded the software and to destroy all data it had previously collected,” the FTC said in a release June 4. “In addition, if Sears advertises or disseminates any tracking software in the future, it must clearly and prominently disclose the types of data the software will monitor, record or transmit. This disclosure must be made prior to installation and separate from any user license agreement” and customers must be told if “any of the data will be used by a third party.”

The public will be able to comment for the next 30 days about the settlement with SHC. If you were a victim of this scam you may wish to participate in the open hearing. More information can be found on the FTC site.

There is also a form in .pdf format you can use for instructions on how to file your comments.

Form is here.


Article Written by

I have been writing for Lockergnome for eight years.

  • Ryan Farmer

    Internet Explorer:

    *ping* Did you notice the information bar?

    *ping* We blocked a pop up, thought you should know.

    *ping* We just blocked a download you requested. Our bad.

    Til you stumble on a site with actual malware and it installs itself before you can get the browser closed.

    It’s really long long past time to give up on IE, by the time antivirus and antispyware programs have taken up a perimeter around the piece of crap, it takes like 10 seconds to open a new tab on your Core 2 Duo. 😛

  • Richard L Walker

    What I’m reading is nothing more than a hand slap for invasion of privacy the likes of which we never willingly permit. “Sears would agree to …?” What kind of statement does that make to other firms who would love to start collecting data from their customers. They are probably creating their software now.

  • Ron Knights

    Really, this is a hand slap… big deal.

    Sears and K-mart should be ordered to pay their customers a fine for Invasion of Privacy.

  • Pingback: Sears Got Caught With Their Hand In The ?Spyware? Cookie Jar - Download Blog()

  • Mary96

    “to track their ever move.”

    Exactly what is an “ever move”? :>0

  • Ron Schenone

    Hello Mary96,
    An ‘ever move’ is only watching one move. LOL

  • Earrings

    First of all, shame on Sears / K-Mart and secondly, shame on these users who install these programs to their system, what good will it do to you if you install a program for them to monitor you other than the $10? Fools!