If you’ve heard of Etsy before, you may know it as that awesome site where people sell pretty much anything handmade.
But now I’m coming to you because Etsy has at best, committed some pretty shady business practices, and at worst, completely violated electronic privacy laws.
On Wednesday, Etsy released its “People Search”. Now you could search for Etsy users based on their full name. This is all fine and good, except for the fact that:
- When you normally register for Etsy, you are prompted for a first and last name (among other personal information) with no indication that this information is optional
- Etsy has opted in users to these changes by default - which means old users who have not logged in for a while may have no idea that their name and other personal information is linked with every purchase they have ever made
And it still needs to be clarified: even if you remove your personal information from your profile, AND you opt out of your purchase history and favorites being publicly viewable, your feedback is still open to the world. This is mandatory and cannot be opted out from.
One question arises from this: why is it necessary for anyone on the internet to view my profile if I’m just a buyer? What possible need could be filled by someone online being able to see that I bought a clay bowl, or steampunk cuff links?
Or sex toys?
Have you ever bought something online that you wouldn’t want everyone to know about? I’m sure a great number of you have at some point or another. Now imagine that, unbeknownst to you, your profile that says you bought this questionable item is viewable by anyone in the world, and in a matter of seconds someone has your first and last name. They might look at your Facebook; they might look you up in the phone book. Who knows?
Please reblog this and get the word out.