eBay privacy and how to improve it

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eBay is an online auction platform that allows everyone to sell new or used items and it is a great place to find some great deals for buyers. But just like any other online platform, there is an inherent privacy risk associated with sharing your data with strangers online. And since eBay requires you to share personal details with strangers and even meet them for a hand to hand deal there is a chance that your data might get misused. Not to mention that eBay also collects and stores your data in their servers so there is always a chance that eBay might suffer a data breach resulting in your data getting leaked. Privacy concerns associated with eBay are too real to ignore and as an eBay user who is concerned about privacy, it is important to know how eBay handles your data and how you can improve your privacy while using this online auction website. If you are an eBay user here are some frequently asked questions and their answers that you should know about.

How does eBay deal with user privacy?

eBay ensures user privacy by encrypting user data, using firewalls to protect user data, limiting access to user data, and keeping physical surveillance of data centers.

How can you improve your privacy if you use eBay?

You can increase the level of privacy on EBay by turning on two-factor authentication, avoiding signing up for eBay using your social media, and use inaccurate personal information when signing up for eBay.

How can you get information removed from eBay?

You can delete your eBay account to remove your data from eBay.

How can you find out what information EBay has about you?

You can request a copy of your data from eBay to find out what information they hold about you. 

Does eBay tell you who they share your information with?

eBay claims in their privacy notice that they share user data with service providers such as shipping companies, financial institutions, law enforcement agencies, and eBay affiliates.

Does eBay remove user information from third parties?  

eBay can only remove user data from their affiliates and not from all the third parties they share user data with.

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eBay is a credible company and according to their privacy policy, they give high priority to user data privacy. And by knowing how to protect and control your privacy while using eBay you can keep your personal information secure. And in this article, we are going to answer all of your eBay privacy related questions and explain the ways you can improve your eBay privacy so keep reading.

How does eBay deal with user privacy?

eBay takes some industry-standard user data privacy measures to prevent any data breaches or unauthorized access to user data. While eBay doesn’t disclose every single data security measure they do provide some information about how they protect user data from being leaked. Below are some ways eBay claims to handle user privacy and threats to user information stored in their servers:

● Encrypting user data:

Almost every big tech organization that collects or stores user data is responsible for the security of the user data. And encrypting user data is the industry standard when it comes to user data privacy. All of your personal information is stored in an encrypted form to prevent unauthorized access to user data. eBay stores sensitive user data such as financial details and other personal information. This makes eBay servers a target for cyberattacks that might attempt to steal user information. This is why eBay encrypts user data before storing it encryption is a process of converting data into an unreadable coded form. So in case, someone does gain unauthorized access to user data they won’t be able to read the data stored in eBay servers due to it being encrypted.

● Using firewalls to protect user data:

eBay claims to use firewalls which are sophisticated software that protects user data from cyber-attacks and unauthorized access. Since eBay servers are connected to the internet there is always a risk that malicious entities might try to gain entry into eBay servers to steal user data using viruses or other malicious codes. To overcome this privacy threat eBay uses powerful firewalls to detect and eliminate any unwanted software or codes that might be planted by hackers in eBay servers.

● Limiting access to user data:

Since it accessing stored user data is enviable whether it is for maintenance, analyzing, or any other purpose. But not every single employee at eBay has access to user data. Only certain authorized employees that are trained for handling user data while maintaining user privacy can access user information. By limiting access to user data eBay ensures that user data stays anonymous. 

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● Keeping physical surveillance of data centers:

All of the other privacy and security measures would be useless without physical surveillance of the locations where eBay stores user data. Internet isn’t the only method hackers use to gain unauthorized access to user data if a criminal manages to gain access to the physical hardware that stores user data it can be just as bad as an online cyber attack. To mitigate this threat eBay maintains strong surveillance at the physical location of data centers to prevent anyone from breaking in and stealing sensitive user information.  

How can you improve your privacy if you use eBay?

eBay secures your user data but no tech company can guarantee that data you share with them is going to be completely secure. So the next best thing is to improve the privacy level of your eBay account data and make sure that you are sharing as little personal data with eBay as possible. You can improve your eBay privacy by doing taking the following steps:

● Turning on two-factor authentication:

Two-factor authentication is an easy way to prevent unauthorized access to your eBay account. Passwords don’t offer enough protection for your account because if someone finds out what your eBay account password is your account and all of its data can be accessed by an unauthorized individual. That is where two-factor authentication comes in as a second line of defense and even if someone has your eBay account password they can’t access your account because when you have two-factor authentication on it requires your account password and a unique code to access your account. You can turn two-factor authentication on by logging into your eBay account on the official website and clicking on your user name. A dropdown menu will open and from that menu select “Account settings”. From the next screen go to “Personal Information” in the My Account section. In the personal information, section scroll down until you find the “Security information” section. Underneath this section, you will find the 2 step verification option. Click the edit button next to 2 step verification option and turn on two-factor authentication.

● Avoiding signing up for eBay using your social media:

When you create your eBay account using a third party social media service eBay gets access to your social media account’s data. If your goal is to avoid sharing too much data with eBay create an eBay account using your email address that way you can choose what information you want to share with eBay while filling up the signup form.

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● Use inaccurate personal information when signing up for eBay:

This might sound complicated but it is a great way to not share your data while signing up for an eBay account. eBay asks for some mandatory information while signing up including your phone number, home address, bank account, and other sensitive information. But you can provide alternative information for the signing up process instead of your accurate information to maintain your anonymity. For example, instead of your phone number, you can provide your work phone number or your Skype phone number and instead of your exact home address provide the address of your post office instead. Similarly, when it comes to your bank details you can create a separate bank account to use with your eBay account instead of your main bank account.  

How can you get information removed from eBay?

Apparently, the only way to remove your data properly from eBay is by deleting your eBay account permanently. You can delete your eBay account by logging into your eBay account at the official website and then clicking on your username or “My eBay” and from the menu click on the “Account” option. Now click on “Close my account” and read all the instructions and click on the “Close account” button at the end of the instructions page. Next click on “request to close your account” link and select a reason for deleting your account and click continue. At the next screen, eBay will make one last try at convincing you to not delete your account under the “Confirm that you want to close your account.” section click on the “Select one” option and at the bottom, you will find the “No, please close my account” and click continue.  Then check the “I read and understand the above information” box under the terms and click continue. That’s it your account may take a few days to close down completely.

How can you find out what information EBay has about you?

You can request a copy of your eBay account data by logging into your eBay account at the official website and clicking on your user name. From the dropdown menu click on “Account” and then select the “Personal Information” option. Next, find “Your eBay Data” and then click on edit underneath this section. Here you will have to follow a few simple instructions to submit the request for a copy of your eBay account data.       

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Does eBay tell you who they share your information with?

eBay uses the term “transmitting” instead of sharing in their privacy policy notice which makes it a bit difficult to understand who they share your data with. But if you read carefully you will come to know that eBay shares your data with the following third parties:

● Service providers:

eBay is a huge corporation and it employs other companies to outsource certain functions of their company and these companies are known as service providers. And eBay shares user data with these third parties to the extent that it is necessary for a third party to carry out their service. For example, eBay might share your address and certain contact details with a shipping company to carry out a delivery. Similarly, eBay might also share your data with advertisement service providers to help them in marketing eBay to potential customers.

● Financial institutions:

eBay is an eCommerce platform and it requires third-party financial institutions such as PayPal to help them in carrying out transactions that take place through their platform. And to complete these transactions eBay shares your data with these financial institutions.

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● Law enforcement agencies:

In case of a legal notice or a court order, eBay might share your data with the court or Law enforcement if required by law.

● eBay affiliates:

eBay is a part of a larger eBay group of companies and since these companies share resources and infrastructure. So it doesn’t come as a surprise that eBay shares user data with other companies from the eBay group.

Does eBay remove user information from third parties? 

Among the third parties, we have mentioned above only the eBay affiliated companies share privacy policy with eBay, and that why they can only remove your data from their affiliated companies. All the other third parties mentioned above have their own set of rules when it comes to dealing with user data and therefore eBay can’t remove your data from their servers.