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.