Sears Accused of Violating Consumer Fraud Law


Atlanta Sears, Roebuck & Company has been hit with a lawsuit seeking class-action status that alleges a company Web site compromises customers' private information.

The suit, filed last Friday in Circuit Court in Cook County, Illinois, states that the retailer's site allows users to view purchase histories of Sears customers by entering public information such as a name or street address, in violation of a state Consumer Fraud Act that forbids "unfair or deceptive" practices.

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.

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