Come See The Spyware Side Of Sears

Spyware seems to be everywhere these days. From Apple tracking what user's are calculating to Adobe disguising its efforts to keep tabs on us, to Microsoft offering up free software in exchange for a peek, everybody seems to want to know what we're doing and where we're doing it. Now it seems even Sears — that's right, Sears, Roebuck & Co. — is in on the game.

According to security researchers, Sears's "My SHC Community" program is far more than most consumers bargained for. The program seems innocent enough — you provide Sears with an email address, and they mail you a welcome note inviting you to download software that will track your browsing. What they don't mention outside the well-buried fine print is that they're not just tracking you on, they're tracking you everywhere on the net. The details are ominous-sounding enough to make one's skin crawl: "all of the Internet behavior ... including ... filling a shopping basket, completing an application form, or checking your ... personal financial or health information."

Just what they plan to do with user's health info is not exactly clear — and equally unclear is what it may bring for Sears, as the experts are now alleging that the program breaches Federal Trade Commission rules on spyware. Somehow, this just isn't what we expected from the softer side of Sears.

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