Sunday, February 22, 2009

eBay Gives Out Personal Information

I don't know if you realize it, but eBay can and WILL divulge your personal info to anyone that you have had dealings with on eBay. And I am not just stating that it is someone who has actually bought from you or you have bought is also anyone you have had placed a bid with or has bidded on your item. Win or Lose, they can get your information simply by asking.
Now this happened to me this past week, and it is still not resolved to my satisfaction, but I feel compelled to let people know what is going on. I will try not to be too long winded about this, so I will just state what happened.
Received email from eBay Customer Support stating the following:
This message is an automated reply to a request made by
This contact information may be used only for resolving matters related to eBay. Any other use is strictly prohibited.
The information contained herein has not been checked for accuracy; users are responsible for entering their own contact information accurately. If you receive information which you believe to be erroneous, please let eBay know. "
It included the following for myself AND XXX, the eBay user who requested my info. ( yes I was given him name, etc but we will just call him XXX.)

Phone: "

Now, I don't know about you, but I get a little upset when someone gives out my information to someone , (at this point) I have know clue who it is.

I called eBay at approx 4pm that day. Before calling I reviewed AGAIN their privacy policy and checked my Paypal account to be sure I did not know this one. The phone call lasted FOUR Hours, and I am waiting now to hear back from eBay.
Now, during the call they referred me to their privacy policy, stating it was their right to do this. The main page of the Privacy Policy states:

Our Disclosure of Your Information
We may disclose personal information to respond to legal requirements, enforce our policies, respond to claims that a listing or other content violates the rights of others, or protect anyone's rights, property, or safety. Such information will be disclosed in accordance with applicable laws and regulations

After asking them many times to explain, what the reason was that they gave XXX the information, they stated that "Obviously" I must of had XXX buy something from me, or placed a bid on one of my items and didn't win the item. I asked .." in other words, I could place an opening bid on an item, knowing full well that item will be selling for much more, and if I get mad because it did sell for more than my bid, I can contact you and you will give me the sellers PERSONAL info?"
" Well, Ya" was the reply.
I asked WHICH item it was that connected me and XXX. After another LONG argument, they finally told me that they had to go and see if they could find it, and if I would hold.
Well they found the was one that I did sell, and XXX was the winning bidder. NOW, this buyer never paid me, and after two weeks, I filed a non pay against him...or at least tried to. it came back that he was no longer an eBay member, and I got my credit for the listing fee. That was in January.
Now, here it is February and this Non paying, no longer an ebay member, who only had a feedback rating of 3, contacts eBay and gets my PERSONAL information! When asked WHY he was no longer with eBay, they stated that they could not reveal that, due to confidentiality and for the BUYERS protection! After another long argument, I did find out he was suspended for suspicious activity.
OK...Let's summarize this. A NON paying member, with feedback of 3, who is suspended for suspicious activity, contacts eBay for my information, and you GIVE it to him? WHY?
Well it turns out my strike is part of the reason for the suspension, and he contacted eBay to get back in. (At least that's how the story goes) Now, in order for him to be reinstated, he must pay for the item, and they give out the information so that he can "make arrangements" to pay. Since eBay only allows Paypal, WHY would they want him to call me to make arrangements to pay?
Like I stated...this call lasted approx FOUR hours, and during that time, I talked to four different people. I am INSISTING on getting my contact information kept private. And this is something they are not sure can be done. They are looking into it now, and are SUPPOSE to call me in the next day or two.
Through this ordeal, I have discovered, Yes, it IS in their policy, BUT it is NOT on their main Privacy Policy page. ONLY during a deep search of eBay, did I find it. It reads:

Our core privacy principles eBay's core privacy principles remain the same worldwide.

We will not sell or rent your personal information to third parties for their marketing purposes and will only disclose your personal information in accordance with our Privacy Policy and/or with your explicit consent.

Third parties are not permitted to sell the information we provide to them, to market directly to you, or to disclose it in any other way without your explicit consent.

We share your personal information with Internal Service Providers for our operations only to facilitate or outsource an eBay service or operation when absolutely necessary and under confidential restrictions.

We share your personal information with other eBay members in accordance with our Privacy Policy to help facilitate transaction and to allow members to contact you.

We disclose limited personal contact information to verified requests by law enforcement and government officials who conduct criminal investigations, and require a subpoena for additional personal information, in accordance with our Privacy Policy.

We give you choices about how you wish to be contacted in the Preferences section of My eBay.

We will provide you with notice if our privacy policy changes and an opportunity to reject such changes.
We let you change your personal information so that you can keep it up to date.

Other eBay companies that have access to your personal information in accordance with the policy are required to protect your personal information at least as strictly as we do.

We use safe, secure technology and other privacy protection programs to keep your personal information secure on eBay.

Now, I KNOW I Do NOT have my preferences checked to say Call Me!
So in MY opinion, eBay was wrong in disclosing my name town and phone number.

The one point I stressed to eBay, and will stress here, is that there are scammers, hackers, and indentity thieves running rampart on line, and with the information eBay gives, that is all one needs to do major harm. Am I being paranoid? eBay thinks so. I think not. As I said, this is not over yet.......

PS....eBay was surprised to find out that XXX has not called me yet...they told me to try the phone number for XXX and see if it was the correct one! (I kid you not!)

(I did NOT link to anything eBay or eBay policy page on purpose, feel free to go and see just how buried this "Core Policy" is on the site!)


Brightest Blessings said...

Hey Renagade! Please keep us posted as to the out come of this mess. Sorry that this has happened to you.

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Anonymous said...

The problem with this is safety and security. I've had Ebay buyers call my house to dispute items before they have even contacted me by email to let me know there is a problem. This is not helpful, and it's sort of creepy if you are female that phone numbers are this accessible.

I've literally closed my Ebay account over this one issue.

Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

I have the same problem. Ebay gave my phone number to a seller after I I had asked them not to. The main reason for this was that he had been very rude in some messages he had sent me about a item that I did not receive. I have now complained to ebay about this.

I wil go as far as taking legal action against ebay over this and also will be closing my account with them.

This sort of info should be kept safe!

Anonymous said...

This just happened to me! I was searching the web if other ppl have similar issues.. and I found your blog.

Ebay gave out my personal address, email, phone# to somebody who didn't even win the auction!!!!
It's unbelievable!!!!!
The guy called me and said he won the auction and shipping should be 2 dollars less WTF?
I told him he didn't even win the auction and he didn't want to believe it!
I'm sooo mad right now I called eBay and they hung up on me!!!

Since when do they give out private info to just anybody? That's ridiculous!
I remember in 2000 when I bought a PC on eBay and the company went out of business and I never received the item. I had no chance back then to contact the company directly I had to file a claim through eBay. Sure thing I never got my money back and never got any contact information...

And now they provide my private info to anybody who is bidding on one of my items?????

(Ebay member since 1998)

I'm really upset.

Anonymous said...

I will be closing my Ebay Account. I currently have 1178 positive feedback ratings so that is over 2000 transactions with positive feedback.
Ebay and Paypal will give out your personal information as well as your transaction history to anyone who requests it. This is seriously concerning.
Seller and Buyers alike need to beware. All those fees add up to free information to those who ask.

Anonymous said...

I have just had the same problem. Someone bought an item from me and the very next day I got a phone call from a very strange person asking where it was. It turned out that he asked for my personal information and Ebay just handed it out even though the item was not even late. This has concerned me so much that I have closed my Ebay account.

Anonymous said...

Bunch of bull s$&t this is. I will no longer be selling or buying from eBay. They have lost touch and charge thru the roof with double dipping fees. Scammers try to get you to refund every perchase and now this. Giving out my personal info so I get called at 11 at night by (no joke) a guy named Mohamed wanting a instant refund.

Anonymous said...

Something like this just happened to me. A person bought something and starting ringing me up 3 days later, complaining that the tracking wasn't working. This issue was easily rectified but that really isn't the point..
Unless I put personal information in my listings then there is just NO NEED for buyer to to go through eBay, get this personal info and pester sellers! It crosses a line that needn't be crossed -unless you're making a transaction that exceeds $100 or whatever. Anyway, I'm more than fine with adding the buyer to my "blocked list" but in reality eBay should just know better by now.

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Anonymous said...

Something tells me the only way Ebay will stop giving out personal info, won't be until some seller is killed by a crazy buyer who didn't get a refund.