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Etsy Backs Down after Privacy Backlash

Etsy announced Wednesday it was removing seller addresses from a new field designed to help sellers comply with European law after a backlash from sellers concerned about their privacy.

The problem came to light when a seller posted on the Etsy forums that when she went to edit her Etsy Shop in the new format, Etsy was auto-filling her personal information. After 2 days of near-silence from the company as seller anxiety grew, Etsy finally provided clarity about a new Seller Details field on Wednesday afternoon, and a little later said it would stop pre-populating seller’s names and addresses in the field.

We detailed the developments on Tuesday night in this Newsflash article, which includes the response from Etsy about the seller’s discovery.

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Here’s the complete post from Etsy on Wednesday afternoon where it said would stop auto-filling seller information in the Seller Details field:

Dilani Kahawala from ObsessedWithDessert 5:44 pm Mar 23, 2016 EDT
Hi all,
I’m Dilani and I work here at Etsy as a Product Manager on the new shop home project.

Originally, we designed the Seller Details section of Shop Home to pre-populate with your information to save you time when editing and filling it out. This information was editable and was not shown to any members without a seller intentionally saving that text. However, we heard that you would feel more comfortable not having any information pre-populate in this section. Based on that feedback, we are removing this pre-populated information from the edit mode.

I want to assure you that the information that pre-populated the Seller Details section of the new policies in edit mode was never shared publicly without the sellers express consent by saving and publishing that information themselves.
Dilani

Some sellers were not satisfied with the explanation, however, and called for more information about how Etsy was able to publish information taken from their credit card information rather than their public billing information. “I have an LLC,” one seller said. “I use a business name and business address. The fact that my personal information was used is beyond my understanding. All information associated with my credit card is private and should be protected.”

Some disputed the claim that no sellers’ home addresses were made public without their knowledge or consent. And some sellers called on Etsy to make sure the information was removed from Google’s cache.

Comment on the EcommerceBytes Blog.

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Ina Steiner

Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. Send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com.


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