eBay Revises Privacy Policy

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In a move to avoid future complications with its customer file, eBay has revised its privacy policy to say that customer information would be shared if eBay were merged or acquired by another company.

The revised policy took effect March 21 for new users and will go into effect May 15 for eBay users who signed up prior to the change.

"Reviewing the privacy policy and the user agreement are annual processes for eBay, and that is exactly what we did this year," said Kevin Pursglove, spokesman for eBay, San Jose, CA. "We have changed our user agreement as well as our privacy policy in the past, and more than likely we will continue to update every single year to meet any changes going on in the industry."

He acknowledged that the change was made in response to the fuss over bankrupt online retailer Toysmart.com's attempt to sell its customer file as an asset after pledging in its privacy policy that customer information would never be shared with third parties. The Federal Trade Commission as well as privacy advocates contested the sale, and ultimately the list was destroyed.

The revised eBay privacy policy maintains that the firm does not currently rent or sell members' information.

Members of eBay who do not agree with the new policy can cancel their registrations by sending an e-mail to decline@ebay.com.

Also, eBay registrants who wish to receive e-mail notification of future privacy policy changes can opt in at http://pages.ebay.com/services/myebay/optin-login.html.

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