Legal Issues

by Mike Masnick

eBay Giving Out Private Info To Law Enforcement All The Time

from the subpoena?--we-don't-need-no-stinkin'-subpoena dept

eBay is apparently quite proud of the fact that they have one of the most "flexible" privacy policies on the internet. In this article, their director of the "law enforcement and compliance" is quoted bragging about the fact that they give out all sorts of information to anyone who claims to be a law enforcement official - without requesting any sort of subpoena or official notification. "There's no need for a court order," he is quoted as saying while also saying he can't think of another site that has "a privacy policy as flexible as eBay" does. Not something you probably want to brag about - but this was in front of law enforcement officials, in a meeting that was closed to reporters. But, of course, a tape got out. Apparently, this is all "legal" because you agree to it when you sign up for eBay - though, the details are hidden amongst the 4,023 word user contract, which only links to the "privacy policy" which is another 3,750. Two-thirds down the way they mention the whole "we'll give out your data to anyone" part. The guy also claims that if authorities want, they'll step in between a potential criminal and the police, and get them to answer a questionaire which will then get delivered straight to police email boxes.

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