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Tue Aug 11 2015 01:01:08

eBay Makes Reader's Private Watch List Public

By: Reader

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Dear Ina, 
Readily accessible through an eBay user's "Me" (aka "profile") page, your readers may be unaware that their followed searches (aka "Interests"), followed sellers (aka "Members"), and followers (aka "Your Followers") lists are automatically made public by eBay.
 
Today, serendipitously and to my dismay, I learned that all of my followed watches were made public in eBay's newfangled "Me" page.
 
Despite the fact that I had painstakingly switched each of my one-hundred watches from public to private, eBay automatically returned them to public each time a change was made.
 
Besides the obvious invasion of privacy issues, while providing a wealth of information for one's competitors (i.e., in the case of eBay sellers) and other buyers, depending upon the kinds of items being watched, the availability of this list information could actually place incoming deliveries at risk and potentially endanger a user's personal safety.
 
There are plenty of other venues where buyers and sellers do not have to compromise their privacy and personal safety for the sake of corporate profit.
 
Solely interested in purchasing and selling goods, if my goal was to seek out friends and followers, I would have simply opened up a Facebook account.
 
Though it could be extremely time consuming for users with large and/or highly customized item searches, one course of action would be to relocate all of one's eBay followed searches and seller lists from a primary selling and/or buying account to another one that has been created solely for the purpose of perusing eBay listings.
 
Heads up from a Vigilant eBayer




Comments (28) | Permalink

Readers Comments

eBay Makes Reader's Private Watch List Public   eBay Makes Reader's Private Watch List Public

This user has validated their user name. by: Philip Cohen
Web Site

Tue Aug 11 03:30:41 2015

So, what's new at eBay?

The eBay executive suite—where the incompetent mingle with the disingenuous, the unscrupulous, the malevolent and the outright criminal, and the just plain stupid … http://bit.ly/11F2eas

eBay Makes Reader's Private Watch List Public   eBay Makes Reader's Private Watch List Public

by: imbloated This user has validated their user name.

Tue Aug 11 08:44:15 2015

Ebay should have announced this  clearly via several emails and let us opt out and allow it to stick. I shall cease watching anything and following anyone ASAP. Thank you.  

eBay Makes Reader's Private Watch List Public   eBay Makes Reader's Private Watch List Public

by: ajeweler This user has validated their user name.

Tue Aug 11 09:18:06 2015

The only things that are private at fleabay is their intentions of what they are really doing behind the venues again coping their competitor's Facebook at least this tells people were the largest threats are so use their advice social media Facebook sell there

eBay Makes Reader's Private Watch List Public   eBay Makes Reader's Private Watch List Public

by: doboy This user has validated their user name.

Tue Aug 11 09:46:40 2015

What I don't understand is why you are surprised.  Nothing, ABSOLUTELY NOTHING, about eBay and/or Paypal would surprise me any more.  

eBay Makes Reader's Private Watch List Public   eBay Makes Reader's Private Watch List Public

by: puppiesandflowers This user has validated their user name.

Tue Aug 11 09:58:58 2015

I too have a lot of watched items on my account and have made them all private. After seeing this article, I went and checked and all of them had been switched to public even though i had changed all to private. Out of curiosity, I wanted to see what my about me page looked like to customers, so i switched browsers. In a different browser, they don't show - can only see my items for sale and people who are following me. Would you try looking at your me page from a different browser and see what results you get?

eBay Makes Reader's Private Watch List Public   eBay Makes Reader's Private Watch List Public

by: smallstuff This user has validated their user name.

Tue Aug 11 10:19:38 2015

Did you check this out while  logged in under another user name or when logged out?  

I saw the same thing earlier, but logged into eBay from another username and found that only the items for sale and followers are visible from the ''ME'' page.  I concluded that there is a bug in the page that allows you to set the searches as private.  They are private as far as I can tell, even if the ME page tells you they are public.  

eBay Makes Reader's Private Watch List Public   eBay Makes Reader's Private Watch List Public

This user has validated their user name. by: Ric

Tue Aug 11 10:20:48 2015

IMO, eBay made the decision to make these lists public despite their users choice to keep them private in an effort to benefit them.

Watch lists, followed sellers etc... creates data which requires a large number of servers to keep all the data together.

As eBay seeks to economize and lower operating costs.

It is obvious eBay chose to implement the exposure of what should be private data knowing full well that many will simply eliminate the lists.

This allows eBay to remove servers from operation as data volume decreases and ends up saving the company money.

eBay does not care one wit that this exposure of private information, as benign as it may or may not be, is yet another factor that alienates both buyers and sellers from doing business with eBay.

This casual disregard for user privacy are the kind of things that happen when a company's top management team is staffed with individuals who have no experience as buyers or sellers.

eBay Makes Reader's Private Watch List Public   eBay Makes Reader's Private Watch List Public

by: smallstuff This user has validated their user name.

Tue Aug 11 10:22:32 2015

Adding to my previous comment, the ME page does give you the option to change the sellers you follow from public to private and that feature does work.  

eBay Makes Reader's Private Watch List Public   eBay Makes Reader's Private Watch List Public

This user has validated their user name. by: Ric

Tue Aug 11 10:39:55 2015

For those with a little time on their hands, there is a way to turn this public information into a black eye for eBay.

1) Go to your feedback received and click on the feedback as a buyer tab.

2) Scroll down your feedback looking for sellers who show as no longer registered users.

3) click on that seller ID and click through to their items for sale page ( yes, it will be blank)

4) Click the link to save the seller to your favorites list.

In a short amount of time, you will now have a followed seller list that advertises how many sellers have abandoned eBay and are no longer registered users.

I am sure eBay will be pleased to know how well their decision to make this information public is working for them!!

eBay Makes Reader's Private Watch List Public   eBay Makes Reader's Private Watch List Public

by: smallstuff This user has validated their user name.

Tue Aug 11 10:50:49 2015

Ric, if it bothers you, why don't you make the sellers you follow private.  That works.  

Not one of the sellers I follow have left eBay.  The list keeps growing for me.  

Seriously, I think the value this blog is hurt by those who keep posting the same comments about eBay over and over without relevance to the topic.  Ina should consider a feature to hide comments that have nothing to do with the topic posted.

eBay Makes Reader's Private Watch List Public   eBay Makes Reader's Private Watch List Public

by: comet This user has validated their user name.

Tue Aug 11 12:48:09 2015

@SMALLSTUFF and @RIC---I have a NUMBER of Sellers I have followed who are either NO LONGER LISTING altho their accounts might still show up---they may still be using that account to Watch or even Buy--but they are NO LONGER SELLING.  I also have quite a few NO LONGER REGISTERED.  

Some of these are friends accounts so I know what their status vis a vis ebay is-

I see this actually more when I go look at OTHERS FB---I will go look in on customers to see what kind of FB they leave (or get!)  and all too often I see NRU---now'  of course some drop off for good reasons but a lot had HIGH FB numbers and seemed to have been on there for YEARS or in some categories you start to recognize the acct names---

I have wondered what the % of plain old left/died/got tired of ebay crappy treatment vs ones who were RUN OFF the site--sometimes I will see a long line of "code"  in place of a user ID and I have heard that this is when EBay takes down an account.

How DO you make your WATCH etc PRIVATE?  I never knew there WAS an option other THAN PRIVATE!  

eBay Makes Reader's Private Watch List Public   eBay Makes Reader's Private Watch List Public

by: smallstuff This user has validated their user name.

Tue Aug 11 12:53:34 2015

@comet I stated above, your watch list is already private.  You don't have to make it private.  The page that says otherwise is showing you an incorrect status.  

If you don't believe me, log out of eBay and then search for your username as a seller.  It will show you the items for sale and the followers, but not the followed searches.

eBay Makes Reader's Private Watch List Public   eBay Makes Reader's Private Watch List Public

by: Gina E This user has validated their user name.

Tue Aug 11 12:59:17 2015

so...that's why I have been receiving "where have you been?" emails from old trading partners.  This is so much more than a mere VIOLATION OF PRIVACY!
But look at it as a seller...you now know what your buyers like & want!  Though USING this information is a total violation...not eBay's problem.  This will  just become another 'site error' for which no one at eBay is responsible.......

eBay Makes Reader's Private Watch List Public   eBay Makes Reader's Private Watch List Public

by: Steevo This user has validated their user name.

Tue Aug 11 13:01:45 2015

Yeah, all the items I watched are public.  That's not right.  It's a privacy violation.  

Ebay is a member of truste, who investigates allegations of privacy violations, and in ebay's contract they have to allow it.

Put a complaint through truste.

eBay Makes Reader's Private Watch List Public   eBay Makes Reader's Private Watch List Public

by: smallstuff This user has validated their user name.

Tue Aug 11 13:14:01 2015

@Steevo and @Gina E
Log out of eBay and look again.  

People can follow you as a seller.  You can make the sellers you follow private or public.  That is your option.  But your searches are private.  

eBay Makes Reader's Private Watch List Public   eBay Makes Reader's Private Watch List Public

This user has validated their user name. by: Philip Cohen
Web Site

Tue Aug 11 15:25:59 2015

@smallstuff,

“Not one of the sellers I follow have left eBay.”

Working from home today, are we? Or, one could ask, how few sellers, for how little time, have you followed? …

The eBay executive suite—where the incompetent mingle with the disingenuous, the malevolent, the unscrupulous, and the outright criminal, and the just plain stupid … http://bit.ly/11F2eas

eBay Makes Reader's Private Watch List Public   eBay Makes Reader's Private Watch List Public

by: smallstuff This user has validated their user name.

Tue Aug 11 15:49:05 2015

As usual, Philip Cohen did not contribute anything relevant to the discussion topic -- which was whether eBay is displaying your searches to other users.

Posts like his diminish the value of this Blog.    

eBay Makes Reader's Private Watch List Public   eBay Makes Reader's Private Watch List Public

This user has validated their user name. by: Philip Cohen
Web Site

Tue Aug 11 15:55:50 2015

@smallstuff,

Funny, I thought it was you that said, “Not one of the sellers I follow have left eBay.”

The eBay executive suite—where the incompetent mingle with the disingenuous, the malevolent, the unscrupulous, and the outright criminal, and the just plain stupid … http://bit.ly/11F2eas

eBay Makes Reader's Private Watch List Public   eBay Makes Reader's Private Watch List Public

by: smallstuff This user has validated their user name.

Tue Aug 11 16:10:47 2015

I could ask the same of you...

Working from home today, are we? Or, one could ask, how few sellers, for how little time, have you followed? …

eBay Makes Reader's Private Watch List Public   eBay Makes Reader's Private Watch List Public

This user has validated their user name. by: shabbychick

Tue Aug 11 16:35:12 2015

Actually if I have this correct, what Ric suggested was
1) Go to your feedback received and click on the feedback as a buyer tab.

2) Scroll down your feedback looking for sellers who show as no longer registered users.

He was not suggesting checking the status of the sellers you follow for NARUs but rather all of your buyers and folks you have bought from.

Then begin to follow all the NARUs.
I think it was a sterling idea!

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