Sears Holdings Corp. has come under fire from privacy advocates for making the purchase history of its customers publicly available on its Managemyhome.com Web site.
Manage My Home is a community portal where Sears shoppers can download product manuals, find product tips and get home renovation ideas.
The Web site has a feature called “Find your products” that lets users look up past purchases. Ostensibly, this is designed to help customers keep track of items they’ve bought from the retailer, but the site also lets them look up the purchase histories of other people.
“Sears offers no security whatsoever to prevent a Manage My Home user from retrieving another person’s purchase history by entering that person’s name, phone number and address,” wrote Ben Edelman, an assistant professor at Harvard Business School, in a blog posting.