A recent report from Privacy International has highlighted concerns about the difficulties in deleting accounts and the sharing of data and has led to a complaint to the Information Commissioner calling for an investigation.
Poor old eBay – they are under attack again! Privacy International received a number of complaints from Internet users claiming that some large online organisations operating in the
The Privacy International report goes on to say: ‘Customers choose to delete online accounts for a range of reasons. Many people wish to reduce the amount of personal information held by companies and thus reduce the risk of unlawful use or disclosure of data. The decision by these companies to frustrate this action, or their lack of foresight in facilitating it, effectively prevents all but the most diligent and persevering customers from deleting their personal information from the sites. Many online organisations (including YouTube and MySpace) include the “delete account” function as a default part of the account management page. This is seen as being important both to Best Practice and to legal compliance. No such facility has been enabled by most of the larger
So ‘poor eBay’ because it has got picked for the test complaint – talk about give a dog a bad name! It seems slightly tough, given that Privacy International claims that Amazon U.K. is ‘the most blatant example of a company that refuses to provide account delete facilities’.
The eBay response was predictable: ‘eBay takes the safety and privacy of its users very seriously’. It is worth noting that user information is shared by eBay with third parties as part of a programme to identify counterfeit material for sale. The ICO will presumably look at what details are being shared and who has access.