Consumer Catch-up: Facebook data access, FTC rental warning, Bay Area Sears closing

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Facebook says dozens of companies had access to user data, plus Sears announces the closure of another Bay Area store. The consumer news you need to know for Monday, July 2, 2018. (KGO-TV)

Facebook user data access

Facebook now says dozens of companies had access to user data, impacting millions of people.

The special access was given months after Facebook was supposed to start restricting that data, back in 2015.

The details are in a new report to Congress. Facebook says it gave companies the deals so they could "come into compliance" with new privacy policies enacted three years ago.

Facebook says it has ended most of those sharing agreements.

The company also says a bug briefly affected about 800,000 users, "unblocking" people they had blocked. The most recent problem happened between May 29-th and June 4-th.

It allowed blocked users to see some posts that were supposed to be hidden. Facebook says the bug has been fixed.

FTC warns about vacation rentals

Just two days before the Independence Day holiday, the Federal Trade Commission is warning about vacation rental scams.

The FTC says scammers are ready for all those summer travel bookings.

Some of the top ways to avoid getting scammed include:

1) Don't wire money or pay with a gift card.
2) Avoid pressure to book right away.
3) If the price is much less than comparable locations, do research to confirm the deal is legitimate.
4) Get a copy of the contract before sending any money.

If you are scammed, you can report it to the FTC - whether you lost money or not.

Sears announces more store closings

Sears added ten additional Sears and Kmart stores to its list of closings - including one in the Bay Area. Among others, the company confirms the Sears location in Newark will shut its doors in late September.

The company says liquidation sales will begin as early as next Friday, July 13.

The Sears Auto Center at the Newark location will close a bit earlier - by late August.

Sears and Kmart merged in 2005, and have closed almost 400 stores in the past year. Since 2010, its last profitable year, the company has lost more than $11 billion.

Click here for a look at more stories by Michael Finney and 7 On Your Side.

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