March 19, 2002 7:30 AM PST
eBay backs off privacy-policy change
- Related Stories
Watchdogs rap eBay policy changesFebruary 26, 2002
eBay is now updating that revision to encourage members to read the company's official policy if they have questions about eBay's rules on privacy.
"These are changes that were suggested to us," eBay spokesman Kevin Pursglove said Tuesday. "The suggestion was to simply clarify it, simply make it easier to understand. We're going to say the same thing, only a little bit differently."
The change of the conflicting language is welcome, but it's just a start, said Jason Catlett, president of privacy advocate Junkbusters.
Watchdog group TRUSTe had several objections to the privacy revisions, spokesman Dave Steer said. One was that eBay did not originally label the revised policy as a "draft," he said.
"It's important to us that eBay be completely consistent in its policies," Steer said. "It's all about clarity, really being clear to the user that they know what's going on."
Cookies are small data files written to a person's hard drive when he or she views certain sites with an Internet browser. The files contain information that the site can use to track such things as passwords, lists of pages visited and the date when a person last looked at a certain page.
In addition to Junkbusters and TRUSTe, the Center for Democracy and Technology also criticized the original revision, Pursglove said. The FTC complaint and the criticism from the privacy advocates helped persuade eBay to change it.
"They all agreed that we could clarify the language and make it easier to understand," he said.