eBay to Feds: come and get what you want

'Our Privacy Policy has been enhanced to remove your Privacy'

Israeli daily Haaretz has unearthed highly embarrassing, and disturbing comments by an eBay executive. To an audience of law enforcement officials, eBay's Joseph Sullivan boasts that his company's privacy policy is meaningless.

"We don't make you show a subpoena, except in exceptional cases," Sullivan told a closed-door session at the CyberCrime 2003 conference last week.

"When someone uses our site and clicks on the `I Agree' button, it is as if he agrees to let us submit all of his data to the legal authorities. Which means that if you are a law-enforcement officer, all you have to do is send us a fax with a request for information, and ask about the person behind the seller's identity number, and we will provide you with his name, address, sales history and other details - all without having to produce a court order. We want law enforcement people to spend time on our site."

Law enforcement snoopers will have plenty of material to work with: Sullivan also boasts that eBay has logged every item of user information since 1995. eBay helps with over 200 a month, Haaretz reports.

It's the second privacy scandal this week. Host of privacy site Don't Spy On.US, Bill Scannell discovered that budget airline Jet Blue handed over 5 million passenger records to the Transport Security Administration and a contractor, which augmented them with credit records and passengers' social security information. You can still read the details here (PDF, 2MB - Thanks to ls). ®

Related Links

Haaretz: Big Brother is watching you - and documenting
Don't Spy On.US: Jet Blue Scandal

Sponsored: Today’s most dangerous security threats