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Privacy Breach Lawsuit Against Sears Is Ridiculous

A $5 million suit recently filed against Sears for exposing customer purchases is more about cashing in than redressing harm.

While conceivable, this scheme strikes me as unlikely. Fraudsters would have to start blind, by randomly entering names and addresses from the phone book one by one and hoping to find matches. It's a time-intensive, low-margin scam, particularly when bundles of stolen credit card numbers are available all over the Internet. And would you really give your Social Security number to the Maytag man?

The last thing the privacy movement needs is a flood of frivolous lawsuits that capitalize on reasonable fears that corporations are putting our sensitive data at risk. This lawsuit smacks of naked opportunism, and it ticks me off as much as Sears' dumb mistake.

Drew is formerly editor of Network Computing and currently director of content and community for Interop. View Full Bio
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