eBay: We don't share customer data with NSA (Update)

September 26, 2013 by Frank Jordans
Devin Wenig,president of eBay marketplaces speaks at a news conference in Berlin,Thursday, Sept. 26, 2013. Online retail platform eBay says it does not share data it collects on its customers with the US. National Security Agency.NSA leaker Edward Snowden has suggested that major web companies have set up systems to help the NSA monitor online communications to protect against terrorism. California-based eBay Inc wasn't named in documents Snowden provided to several newspapers but German privacy commissioner Peter Schaar said last month he was certain that information collected on eBay users ended up with the NSA. The president of eBay Marketplaces, Devin Wenig, said Thursday "we don't share our customer data" and "we don't believe the NSA has come near our data." (AP Photo/Frank Jordans)

Online retail giant eBay believes offering each shopper a unique store tailored to their personal tastes and interests is the future of the $10 trillion global commerce market.

But even as eBay asks users to tell them what they "love" so it can offer them what they "need," the California-based company insisted Monday that its customers' data is safe and won't be shared with anyone—not even the U.S. National Security Agency.

"We don't share our customer data," said Devin Wenig, president of eBay Marketplaces. "We don't sell our customer data. We are incredibly protective of our customers' data."

Privacy watchdogs in Germany have expressed concern that the vast stores of customer information collected by online retailers such as eBay and Amazon are not sufficiently protected from eavesdropping.

According to eBay's privacy policy, the information that the company collects on its customers can include their physical address, credit card details, shopping habits, cell phone number, IP address, location and even scans of identity documents.

NSA leaker Edward Snowden has suggested that major web companies have set up systems to help the intelligence agency monitor online communications to protect against terrorism. Snowden, who is wanted in the U.S. on espionage charges, was granted temporary asylum in Russia last month.

While eBay wasn't named in documents Snowden provided to several newspapers earlier this year, German privacy commissioner Peter Schaar said last month that he was certain information collected on eBay users ended up with the NSA.

The Snowden revelations have sparked a noisy debate about online privacy in Germany, which is eBay's second biggest market after the United States.

"We don't believe the NSA has come near our data," said Wenig, who was in Berlin to launch the German version of eBay's personalized shopping feature, Feed. "We have a tremendous amount of thought and procedures and security around customer data."

Explore further: Germany wants 'trust restored' after US spy report

Related Stories

Germany wants 'trust restored' after US spy report

July 1, 2013

The German government wants "trust restored" with the United States following reports that American intelligence agencies bugged European Union offices, and has invited the U.S. ambassador in Berlin to the Foreign Ministry ...

Report: NSA can access most smartphone data

September 8, 2013

The U.S. National Security Agency is able to crack protective measures on iPhones, BlackBerry and Android devices, giving it access to users' data on all major smartphones, according to a report Sunday in German news weekly ...

Report: US spied on Brazil's Petrobras, Google

September 9, 2013

Documents leaked by Edward Snowden indicate the National Security Agency spied on Brazil's state-run oil company, the private computer networks of Google and a company that facilitates most of the world's international bank ...

Recommended for you

Search engines will know what you want ... sooner

February 8, 2016

If you enter "Oklahoma" in a search engine, you might get a travelogue, news about the oil industry, Oklahoma State football scores or an article on Rodgers and Hammerstein musicals. What appears at the top of the list might ...

Researchers find vulnerability in two-factor authentication

February 3, 2016

Two-factor authentication is a computer security measure used by major online service providers to protect the identify of users in the event of a password loss. The process is familiar: When a password is forgotten, the ...

Battery technology could charge up water desalination

February 4, 2016

The technology that charges batteries for electronic devices could provide fresh water from salty seas, says a new study by University of Illinois engineers. Electricity running through a salt water-filled battery draws the ...

EU and US reach new data-sharing agreement

February 2, 2016

The European Union and the United States struck a deal Tuesday over data-sharing that will allow the likes of Facebook and Apple to continue sending people's information across the Atlantic—but a legal challenge to the ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.