Sears admits to peddling spyware

By Justin Mann on January 2, 2008, 8:02 PM
We aren't surprised when we hear of shell companies, small independent firms, unscrupulous “businessmen” or other types engaging in the peddling of spyware. Often the companies are fly-by-night operations that disappear just as quickly as they popped up.

It's a bit more distasteful and somewhat surprising to find out that large and old companies are doing the same thing, pushing spyware to glean information about their customers. While the company does, loosely, disclose that they do intend to spy on everything you do online, the admission comes 10 pages deep into a gigantic disclaimer that rivals a short book. According to the article, it violates the standards set down by the FTC that got companes like Zango (formerly 180 Solutions).

The article also brought out clever (or perhaps less than) tactics used to disguise the third-party software. That is pretty shameless behavior, and it is a sad state of affairs when even companies with so much capital resort to pushing invasive software.




User Comments: 2

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fludlite said:
My concern is that the ISP I subscribe to is probably doing the same thing. Rogers (in Canada) has provided a multitude of methods to determine user profiles online. They have partnered with YAHOO and FLICKR and have succeeded in convincing people to download their "free" software (Norton) . All this indicates a growing misuse of general public information.
raffaella front said:
I think this happens at Amazon too. Whenever I go there and begin entering text to search for a CD or DVD, the cursor blinks sporadically and my text won't appear. Evidently, I have to wait until something finishes downloading before it doesappear. Like spyware? Thank goodness my security software roots it out soon after.
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