It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
Visiting Sears.com (and Kmart.com) a few weeks ago, I was offered a chance to join My SHC Community, for free, but what I received was, from a privacy perspective, very costly. Sears.com is distributing spyware that tracks all your Internet usage - including banking logins, email, and all other forms of Internet usage - all in the name of "community participation." Every website visitor that joins the Sears community installs software that acts as a proxy to every web transaction made on the compromised computer. In other words, if you have installed Sears software ("the proxy") on your system, all data transmitted to and from your system will be intercepted. This extreme level of user tracking is done with little and inconspicuous notice about the true nature of the software. In fact, while registering to join the "community," very little mention is made of software or tracking. Furthermore, after the software is installed, there is no indication on the desktop that the proxy exists on the system, so users are tracked silently. An interesting note, the spyware Sears distributes is "genetically" related to software CA Anti-Spyware has detected for a few years by the name of MarketScore (and other aliases) and distributed by other websites.
But in a statement e-mailed to Reuters on Friday, when a consumer blog featured an entry raising concerns about the Sears site, the retailer said it had "turned off the ability to view a customer's purchase history on Manage My Home until we can implement a validation process that will restrict access by unauthorized third parties."
The complaint, which seeks class-action status and millions in damages, said the data available at the Manage My Home site could be used to commit fraud and obtain even more sensitive customer data such as social security numbers.
"There's so many scary situations where people could easily trick you into getting more personal information or gain access to your home for improper purposes," said Jay Edelson, partner at KamberEdelson LLC, which filed the lawsuit.