Feeds

eBay UK pimps users' privacy for targeted ads

When opt out means locked out

Remote control for virtualized desktops

Updated: eBay users in the UK will start seeing adverts targeting them based on the kind of items they view and bid for while browsing the online tat-house.

And if they don't want their info being used to target ads, their only option seems to be to leave the online marketplace altogether, according to an email announcing the changes.

The Phorm-style service is dubbed AdChoice in the US, where it is provided by Tacoda, which also works with various other sites including Ebookers, AP.com, CNN, HowStuffWorks.com and WallStreetJournal.com.

AdChoice is launching in the UK this month, though it is not yet clear whether Tacoda will be the supplier here.

From 13 July, new users, will be served "relevant" ads. The service is opt-out - if you don't like it you must change your eBay account preferences.

Existing eBay users should already have received an email warning them of the changes, which will come in from from 13 August.

The change comes in the last paragraph of a lengthy marketing email from eBay.

Under the heading "*Customising Your eBay Experience*" the email said: "You'll notice a new preference now available in My eBay -: named AdChoice -: that lets you tell us whether you want us to use the information we have about you to customize the ads you see. You'll be able to sign in and change your advertising preferences in My eBay at any time. In some cases, we may also use information from other companies to select the right audiences for our promotions."

Despite this promise that the service is opt-out the marketing email concludes: "We hope you'll agree that these changes will make the eBay sites and services work better for you. If you accept the new User Agreement and Privacy Policy, you don't need to take any action. If you do not wish to accept the new User Agreement or Privacy Policy, please refer to our Help pages for instructions on how to close your account."

So it's more like an "opt-in or bugger-off" policy?

We're still waiting to hear back from eBay UK* as to whether this means users will be forced to accept targeted advertising or give up using the online junk bazaar altogether.

But we're betting eBay is starting yet another row with their users over this issue - first negative feedback, then PayPal and now this.

Updated:

eBay sent us the following statement and made clear that if you opt out of AdChoice your eBay account will not change: "AdChoice provides a more personalised and relevant shopping experience for our users, based on previous searches and items bought. Participation in this programme is entirely optional and does not involve disclosure of personal information to any third parties.

More generally, eBay views the protection of our users' privacy as an extremely important principle and we do not disclose personal information to third parties for marketing purposes without a user’s explicit consent.”®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
Google Glassholes are UNDATEABLE – HP exec
You need an emotional connection, says touchy-feely MD... We can do that
Lawyers mobilise angry mob against Apple over alleged 2011 Macbook Pro crapness
We suffered 'random bouts of graphical distortion' - fanbois
Just don't blame Bono! Apple iTunes music sales PLUMMET
Cupertino revenue hit by cheapo downloads, says report
US court SHUTS DOWN 'scammers posing as Microsoft, Facebook support staff'
Netizens allegedly duped into paying for bogus tech advice
Feds seek potential 'second Snowden' gov doc leaker – report
Hang on, Ed wasn't here when we compiled THIS document
Verizon bankrolls tech news site, bans tech's biggest stories
No agenda here. Just don't ever mention Net neutrality or spying, ok?
Inside the EYE of the TORnado: From Navy spooks to Silk Road
It's hard enough to peel the onion, are you hard enough to eat the core?
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.
The Heartbleed Bug: how to protect your business with Symantec
What happens when the next Heartbleed (or worse) comes along, and what can you do to weather another chapter in an all-too-familiar string of debilitating attacks?