eBay.com.au: Do you know what you signed up for?


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This presentation analyses eBay's Terms of Use, with a focus on privacy. This presentation is licensed under a Creative Commons Attrtibution Share-Alike 3.0 Australia License.

  • Thank you Rumbie. I too enjoyed your slideshow. It was very well done. You made great use of imagery and your content was interesting and compelling.

    As you mention, my slideshow focused more on the user’s privacy and how eBay uses the information they collect, whereas you focused more on what the user is signing up for and should expect.

    I think your strongest point was that eBay is not responsible for their users’ actions. eBay only provides the platform, and is not accountable for how their users use it (Nhongo, 2012, Slide 17). This is a common thread throughout other Terms of Service too. For example in Nicole William’s Policy Primer she also notes how Pinterest acts only as a passive conduit for its users (2012, Slide 24). This is important for users to know, as it is their responsibility to control what they post (Hermes, 2012, para. 8-9) (including items infringing copyright, that are offensive, etc.) on a website such as eBay and Pinterest, because they will be the ones penalised for it.

    We both speak about the importance of a strong and visible reputation on eBay (Nhongo, 2012, Slide 4). This is such an important point because it is a paradigm. While trust is incredibly important when dealing with others online (especially when undertaking financial transactions) (Brown & Muchira, 2004, p. 62) users also require some level of privacy when handing over their financial information and contact details to strangers (Bella, Giustolisi & Riccobene 2011, p. 706). eBay is reliant on users trusting that their system will provide the right balance of privacy and disclosure for their success too (Caban, 2007, para. 1). How eBay deals with member’s information is therefore very important, and one of the most interesting aspects of their Terms of Service and Privacy Policy to study I think.

    Bella, G., Giustolisi, R., & Riccobene, S. (2011). Enforcing privacy in e-commerce by balancing anonymity and trust. Computers & Security, 30, 705-718. doi: 10.1016/j.cose.2011.08.005

    Brown, M., & Muchira, R. (2004). Investigating the Relationship between Internet Privacy Concerns and Online Purchase Behavior. Journal of Electronic Commerce Research, 5(1), 62-70. Retrieved from http://www.csulb.edu/web/journals/jecr/issues/20041/Paper6.pdf

    Caban, J. (2007, June 1). Business Environment of EBay, Wal-Mart & Best Buy. [Web log post]. Retrieved from http://voices.yahoo.com/business-environment-ebay-wal-mart-best-buy-367735.html?cat=35

    Hermes, J.P. (2012, June 4). The IRS and User-Generated Content. [Web log post]. Retrieved from http://www.citmedialaw.org/blog/2012/irs-and-user-generated-content

    Nhongo, R. (2012). Ebay Terms of Service [PowerPoint slides]. Retrieved from http://www.slideshare.net/ruenhongo/ebay-policy-primer

    Williams, N. (2012). Policy Primer: Pinterest [PowerPoint slides]. Retrieved from http://www.slideshare.net/Nikki_for_Uni/net503-a2-williams-14223830
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  • Hi Emily I really like your presentation, the colours and style you used are great and even though we both did eBay, we both tackled different elements and I enjoyed how well you focus on privacy. My presentation was mostly focused on the User Agreement and highlights what individuals are responsible for. The way you organized your slides and information made it clear to see that surveillance on eBay is very strong whether we know it or not. The collection of information and the use of cookies are provided in both of our presentations as a concern. Lyon (2002) has stated that surveillance can provoke privacy concerns from time to time. Even though eBay is a huge company, we still can’t help but think, what if information got out and the fact that eBay would not take responsibility also is a concern because it puts individuals in a very compromising situation. I also like how you link eBay giving information to advertisers, partner companies and third parties to how money is more important to them than our privacy. Brown & Muchira (2004) state that collecting information about users is extremely valuable because they can create products and services tailored to the user. This targeted advertising invades our privacy for profitable gain which shows that they are looking to do good for the company and not so much for the users. Thank you for such an interesting and thought provoking presentation References - [Lyon, D. (2002) 'Everyday Surveillance: Personal Data and Social Classification', Information, Communication, and Society, 5(1). Retrieved from http://www.casa.ucl.ac.uk/cyberspace/lyon_ics.pdf ] [Nhongo, R. (9th September, 2012). Ebay Policy Primer. Retrieved from http://www.slideshare.net/ruenhongo/ebay-policy-primer]
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eBay.com.au: Do you know what you signed up for?

  1. 1. eBay.com.auDo you know what you signed up for?
  2. 2. To become a eBay member you must be an individual (not a corporation) and over 18 (if you are under 18 you require parental supervision). (“User Agreement,” n.d., para. 7; “eBay Privacy Policy,” n.d., para. 6)
  3. 3. It is free to join and to bid, but there are fees to list and sell items. (“User Agreement,” n.d. para. 9)
  4. 4. But most importantly....
  5. 5. Before signing up to eBay you must read, agree to and accept all their terms and conditions. (“User Agreement,” n.d., para. 2)
  6. 6. Whether you have read all of these, skimmed over them, or completelydisregarded them, you might want topay attention now and see what you really signed up for ...
  7. 7. Once you becomean eBay member,a great deal ofinformation iscollected aboutyou by eBay.(“eBay Privacy Policy,” n.d.)
  8. 8. Your movements on the eBay website... (“eBay Privacy Policy,” n.d., para. 9) The URL you left before coming to eBay... (“eBay Privacy Policy,” n.d., para. 9) The URL you go to after signing into eBay... (“eBay Privacy Policy,” n.d., para. 9) The browser you are using.... (“eBay Privacy Policy,” n.d., para. 9) Your IP address.... (“eBay Privacy Policy,” n.d., para. 9) What you bid for, buy and sell... (“eBay Privacy Policy,” n.d., para. 12) Your billing address... (“eBay Privacy Policy,” n.d., para. 8)Your credit card number and expiration date... (“eBay Privacy Policy,” n.d., para. 8) And MUCH more...For what exact information eBay collects about you visit:http://pages.ebay.com.au/help/policies/privacy-appendix.html
  9. 9. This information when combinedcan say a lot about you, and can work to identify you. Potentially destroying your privacy. (Barbaro & Zeller, 2006, p. 3; “Fact Sheet 18,” 2012, para. 5)
  10. 10. Some of this information you are required to provide as a user of eBay... (“eBay Privacy Policy,” (n.d.), para. 9)
  11. 11. This CANNOT be falsified.You must provide VALID contact details. (“The Rules for Everyone Overview,” n.d., para. 5)
  12. 12. This is because, the eBay communityrequires some level of honesty due to the site’s nature. It is about getting the right balance of privacy and trust.
  13. 13. While eBay users require privacy to feel safe when carrying out financial transactions withstrangers on the site, anonymity is also impossible. Buyers needsome personal information about the sellers (such as contactdetails, and user ratings) in order to trust they will receive the product they purchase. (Bella, Giustolisi & Riccobene, 2011, p. 706)
  14. 14. Would you buy from ananonymous seller with nocontact details, feedback or ratings?
  15. 15. The rest of your information is collected by eBay using data collection tools such as “cookies” ... (“eBay Privacy Policy,” (n.d.), para. 9)
  16. 16. “Cookies” are files downloaded onto your computer’s hard drive that track your movements and save personal information such as your password. (“eBay Privacy Policy,” (n.d.), para. 9)
  17. 17. While they are stored on your computer, eBay still has access to the information stored in these cookies whenever you visit their site. (Fact Sheet 18,” 2012, para. 31)
  18. 18. It is possible to clear the cookies on your hard drive after each session. (Fact Sheet 18,” 2012, para. 30)
  19. 19. You can also decline eBay’s cookies if your browser allows it. However by doing this you may not be able to use parts of their website, and may have to re-enter your password more frequently. (“eBay Privacy Policy,” (n.d.), para. 9)
  20. 20. ....making it as difficult as possible for users to avoid their information getting collected.
  21. 21. How does eBay use the information it collects? Marketing Customising campaigns their site Improving Analysing content site usage (“eBay Privacy Policy,” n.d., para. 20)
  22. 22. They claim your informationis used to personalise your eBay experience.... (“eBay Privacy Policy,” n.d., para. 7).... but this also helps eBay make more money. (“Fact Sheet 18,” 2012; Bella, Giustolisi & Riccobene, 2011, p. 705)
  23. 23. eBay might also pass your information onto.... Members of the eBay Community THE GOVERNMENT(“eBay Privacy Policy,” n.d., para. 24-29)
  24. 24. So is your information really safe?
  25. 25. Not Necessarily.... “Although eBay uses industry standardpractices to protect your personal information, due to technical limitations, we cannot ensure that all of your private communications and other personalinformation will never be disclosed in other ways not otherwise described in this Privacy Policy.” (“eBay Privacy Policy,” n.d., para. 22)
  26. 26. So, in other words... eBay CANNOT guarantee that your informationwill remain private. (“eBay Privacy Policy,” n.d., para. 22)
  27. 27. It seems that with e-commerce,“profitability has become more important than privacy.” (Brown & Muchira, 2004, p. 65)
  28. 28. And what happens if this informationwas to get into the wrong hands....?
  29. 29. eBay is not responsible “for lost profits or any special, incidental or consequential damages arising out of or inconnection with our site, our services or this agreement” (“User Agreement,” n.d., para.68)
  30. 30. In other words, eBay is not liable for anydamages you encounter if the informationthey have collected about you was to find itself in the wrong hands.
  31. 31. Wish you read theterms and conditions now?
  32. 32. ReferencesBarbaro, M., & Zeller Jr., T. (2006, August 9). A Face Is Exposed for AOL Searcher No. 4417749. The New York Times. Retrieved from http://w2.eff.org/Privacy/AOL/exhibit_d.pdfBella, G., Giustolisi, R., & Riccobene, S. (2011). Enforcing privacy in e-commerce by balancing anonymity and trust. Computers & Security, 30, 705-718. doi: 10.1016/j.cose.2011.08.005Brown, M., & Muchira, R. (2004). Investigating the Relationship between Internet Privacy Concerns and Online Purchase Behavior. Journal of Electronic Commerce Research, 5(1), 62-70. Retrieved from http://www.csulb.edu/web/journals/jecr/issues/20041/Paper6.pdfeBay Privacy Policy. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://pages.ebay.com.au/help/policies/privacy- policy.htmlFact Sheet 18: Online Privacy: Using the Internet Safely. (2012). Retrieved from https://www.privacyrights.org/fs/fs18-cyb.htmRules for Everyone Overview. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://pages.ebay.com.au/help/policies/everyone-ov.htmlUser Agreement. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://pages.ebay.com.au/help/policies/user- agreement.html
  33. 33. eBay.com.au: Do You Know What YouSigned Up For? by Emily Lloyd is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution- ShareAlike 3.0 Australia License. Based on a work at http://www.slideshare.net/EmilyGL.