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eBay Warns Users of New Privacy and User Agreements

eBay sent an email this week to buyers and sellers warning them of changes to its user agreement and privacy policy prompted in part by the breakup with PayPal. The changes go into effect on June 15 for current users. PayPal also sent out notifications of policy changes to its users this week.

eBay’s letter informed recipients that eBay and PayPal would soon be separate companies. “You can be confident that we’re still committed to offering you seamless buying and selling on eBay. We just want to let you know about updates to the eBay User Agreement and Privacy Notice.”

eBay executives have said the two companies would work closely together and provided some details about the operating agreement between the two companies following the split on this page of the corporate website.

This week’s email explains in more detail how the split will impact buyers and sellers, with the email including the following “key updates” to the eBay User Agreement:

Fees, holds, returns & cancellations, and eBay Money Back Guarantee: Users now authorize eBay to instruct PayPal to make deductions from their PayPal account(s) for fees, returned items, items not as described, return shipping, cancellations (under our new cancellation policy), and eBay Money Back Guarantee reimbursements. eBay will recommend, rather than request, when PayPal can restrict funds in a seller’s PayPal account. We clarified language for holding seller funds, placing charges on a seller invoice and/or charging a payment method on file, and removing funds in a buyer’s currency.

Authorization to contact you and record calls: We simplified and clarified the language for: (1) consent for eBay to contact you with auto-dialed or pre-recorded calls or by SMS; (2) eBay sharing phone numbers with our authorized service providers; and (3) for eBay recording/monitoring calls.

Agreement to arbitrate: Clarified that the laws of Utah apply to claims arising from our User Agreement unless Utah law is inconsistent with, or preempted, by Federal law. eBay will no longer pay some arbitration costs for claims greater than US$10,000.

Other changes: We’ve made updates globally to describe policies for abuse of eBay services. Users that register or use an account on behalf of a company must be authorized by that company to register or use that account. Accounts registered on behalf of a company are owned by that company. We also updated various eBay company addresses.

The email to users also outlined the following “key updates” to the eBay Privacy Notice:

eBay and PayPal data sharing: An entirely new sub-section under Disclosure to cover the authorized data sharing between eBay and PayPal.

Contacting users via electronic means: Additional language regarding our ability to contact users via email and on mobile devices – we have added/clarified some of the language in our Use and Retention section regarding our use of some personal information (emails, mobile phone numbers) to contact users. This language is parallel to changes made in the User Agreement in this regard, and provides us additional legal protection in most of our jurisdictions, especially in the US and Canada.

Users are advised to read the agreements before they take effect in mid-June.

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com.