Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of
Thu Dec 14 2017 17:09:02

Victim of eBay Privacy Breach Speaks Out

By: Ina Steiner

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We reached out to an eBay user who had left a product review for an HIV medical test kit on eBay to see if he was aware that his real name was published in the review on Google Shopping's product page for that item.

His wife Alex responded on Sunday and told us she was flabbergasted to learn her husband's name appeared next to the review for an HIV diagnostic kit.

The privacy breach was brought to our attention by a reader over the weekend. eBay displays product reviews with the User ID showing. When Google Shopping displayed the ... Read More

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Tue Dec 12 2017 12:20:48

How to Remove Product Reviews on eBay

By: Ina Steiner

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Concerned about the privacy breach involving eBay product reviews, a reader asked if it was possible to delete the reviews they had previously left. "I'm surprised more readers are not up in arms over this egregious breach of privacy. I am currently on hold with eBay having been transferred FOUR times. Employees are having a hard time figuring out what department handles this kind of issue."

Since we couldn't find a help page on eBay that provided the answer, we are publishing the instructions the reader provided after they figured it out:

1) Hover your mouse over "Hi, your name" in the upper left-hand ... Read More

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Mon Dec 11 2017 19:46:04

Google Says eBay Is Working to Resolve Privacy Flaw

By: Ina Steiner

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A day after we informed eBay and Google of a privacy breach involving eBay customer identities, a Google spokesperson told EcommerceBytes, "When we learned about the issue, we took action immediately and stopped displaying all reviewer names from eBay. eBay is working closely with us to investigate and resolve it."

A reader tipped us off over the weekend after he noticed the product review section of product pages on Google Shopping displayed real customer names next to the reviews that were submitted to Google by eBay. On eBay's own product pages, only eBay User IDs ... Read More

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Mon Dec 11 2017 10:03:27

Google Masks Customer Names after Alerted to eBay Privacy Breach

By: Ina Steiner


After EcommerceBytes alerted eBay and Google to a privacy breach yesterday, the real names of eBay customers that had been displaying in the Product Reviews section of Google Shopping were replaced with dashes overnight.

In fact, Google has masked data in that field for all product reviews - not just for eBay-provided reviews, but for those provided by retailers like Target and product-review sites like as well.

eBay did not respond when we reached out yesterday afternoon to ask if it was aware it was providing Google with product reviews that included customers' real names instead of user names. Nor has it responded ... Read More

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Sun Dec 10 2017 16:24:07

eBay Privacy Breach Exposes Customer Names on Google

By: Ina Steiner


In what appears to be a major breach of customer privacy, eBay is exposing customers' real first and last names, as well as the items they've purchased, publicly on Google. 

While the idea that your real name is exposed in a product review you left for a benign product like clothing or books is disturbing enough, Google is also displaying eBay customer names for sensitive purchases such as medical diagnostic tests - including pregnancy, drug, and HIV home testing kits.

A reader who provided EcommerceBytes with the news tip told us, "As both an eBay seller as well as ... Read More

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