eBay Merchant Faces Privacy Issues about Customer’s Personal Information

By Antoinette Coyer, Black Friday Magazine
Published December 16, 2011
ebay mistake

eBay Inc. has built trust and credibility being the leading United States internet consumer-to-consumer auction website for years. As the internet has grown, consumers all over the world have the ability to buy and sell on eBay and similar websites.

Recently, eBay has faced scrutiny over an Australian eBay customer’s complaint about the merchant, “Shahizanhashim.” Shahizanhashim is based in Malaysia and destroyed its own credibility and the good name of eBay since it inadvertently exposed the details of over 300 Australians who paid for various items from their online store. “Shahizanhashim” sells clothing and accessories on the auction site. In response to the privacy breach, the people in charge of eBay’s head of communications have decided to give extra protection to the important personal information. Phone numbers, postal addresses, email addresses, and the items purchased by consumers online are now encoded on eBay to save their privacy from any harm. The fact that scam and hacking cases have been on the rise is another reason for eBay’s move towards increased consumer security. “It is concerning,” said Timothy Pilgrim, The Australian Privacy Commissioner. “eBay [has] contacted us about this matter and are keeping us informed,” he added.

Shahizanhashim Store Owners Apologize

In the statement issued by the owners of the offending merchant, husband and wife Shahizan and Zaini Hashim, the couple expressed remorse for the damage inflicted upon their customers as well as to the credibility of eBay reputation in regards to buyer privacy/security. They are willing to give their full cooperation in order to resolve the issue of privacy and security at eBay.  On the other hand, they defended that they were unaware of the capability of Google to index their website containing the personal information of their clients. This is really a very big lesson not only to the owners of the merchant, “Shahizanhashim,” but also to the other merchants of eBay not to expose any personal information of consumers online and to abide to the eBay’s privacy policy as well as the user agreement.  For buyers around the world, this security breach has been an ominous warning, remind them to be highly vigilant when doing your Holiday shopping online.

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