eBay is tracking your every move

Submitted by Phillip Williams on Fri, 06/23/2006 - 15:45.

ebay flier
I just got the mail today and recieved an ebay mailing.  While this is not that big of deal the back of the flier (show above) is.

Notice on the left the suggestions it has listed?  Makes me glad I was not looking for porn on ebay.  I would have been so embarrased to see suggestions such as:

Life Sized blow up doll
See page 12
Cat of nine tails whip
See page 16

I wonder just how much of my ebay searching is used outside of ebay?  Why is ebay NOT giving me the option of opting out of that? or are they?

I think ebay should allow me to put a price on MY searching habits... say $5.00 for access to my surfing habbits for a week.  Then sell that to companies that would actually be of interest to me.  That way if they sell my info I get paid and I might also by some new nifty gadget or shiny object to boot.

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Your data is eBay's only asset

eBay is an infomediator - they provide technology for individuals to post intellectual property enabling the sale of objects, and they provide the technology for transactions, and they take a commission, and they make other money off the technology, data, intellectual property, members identities and traffic, for advertising, fee services and clearly sale of individuals' intellectual property, like buying and browsing habits. Your posting reminds me of the time I went to Giant Eagle and used my shopper card there and received coupons for products like those I historically buy, and the sales clerk commented that Giant Eagle knows more about me than I know about myself. The newspapers have people worried about the theft of our identities off stolen laptops and databases and that is silly - most people give their identities and deepest darkest secrets away all day every day and could care less, and the government uses private data brokers to track citizens every purchase, preference and pursuit. In cyberspace in these places today we have no privacy. The problem with the current situation is in most environments in society there are no protections of individuals intellectual property rights - it is the most valuable resource on Earth, it is ours, and we give it away all day. That is why I do not participate in any untrusted networks, do not waste my time putting my property on any private data networks like eBay or blogger or yahoo, and why I formed ICEarth and REALNEO, to put in place in society proper data ownership rights for the people.  So, screw eBay, and Blogger, and Yahoo - there are better ways to do what you need to do in life without sellingout your identity.

I have not yet received from

I have not yet received from eBay the card Phillip described. Maybe they don't have my current address, though. These databases that compile our identiy based upon transactions most of consider insignificant reminds me of one of my favorite novels, Joseph Conrad's Under Western Eyes. In it the main character is mistaken for a revolutionary. The point is, you might as well be what people think you are. So guard your identity carefully!