|Thu Apr 22 2021 11:26:09|
eBay Patents a Privacy Feature for Local Selling
By: Ina Steiner
A patent filing gives further evidence eBay is interested in offering more options for local selling as buyers and sellers turn to sites like Facebook Marketplace to trade in person.
In the patent filing
, eBay said the risks of online selling have been increasing over the past several years, including identity theft and online and real-world stalking. The "Crowd Sourcing Locations for Seller Privacy" patent filing, filed on December 29, 2020, explains in the Background section:
"Concerns about privacy when operating in an electronic environment have been increasing over the past several years. The Internet environment has made personal identification information (PII) much more accessible to nefarious actors, resulting in an increase in identity theft, both electronic and real-world stalking, and other undesirable results. Thus, improved methods of protecting PII in a networked environment are needed."
eBay's patent involves protecting the privacy of sellers who use its marketplace for local selling. The patent describes a feature in which it provides sellers who list items for local pick-up with a calendar, where they can indicate to shoppers their availability, and a "generalized version" of a specific pick-up location.
The buyer would select the time and generalized location, and once they paid through the eBay system, eBay would display a screen showing the buyer the purchased item; price; specific pickup address; and pickup date and time.
A patent alone does not mean a new feature is imminent, but eBay has been signaling its interest in making its platform more friendly to local buying and selling. Last year
, it introduced delivery confirmation for Local Pickup through the use of QR codes, and last week
, eBay revealed it is working on tools to help sellers sell locally.