This image was lost some time after publication.

The professor investigating Sears's spyware installation has discovered that the department store is also making it easy to spy on others' home appliance purchases. If you registered at the Sears Manage My Home site, you could view the purchase history of anyone you have a name, phone number, and street address for. No password required. The retailer responded quickly to remove the feature when the news surfaced on the web, but why was such an obvious flaw present in the first place?

The site's privacy policy says individual information will not be shared with the public, but maybe they just don't know how this technology thing works. It may not seem like a major concern if someone knows you bought a Maytag washer/dryer combo six years ago, but Sears should be worried that the information is out there. It's a gold mine for competitors — imagine what Best Buy could do with this information. Or a burglar casing his next heist.