Online services under investigation for breaching UK Data Protection Act

By EDRi · September 13, 2006

(Dieser Artikel ist auch in deutscher Sprache verfügbar)

E-Bay auction site is investigated by UK Information Commissioner’s Office
(ICO), as Privacy International has considered the site has infringed the
Data Protection Act.

The Data Protection Act obliges companies to allow people to delete their
personal information. Privacy International claims that although not
impossible, deleting accounts with eBay is very difficult.

Following the complaints of Internet users, Privacy International has
conducted a research by asking a sample of representative users to close
their accounts with some large online companies present on the UK market.
The conclusion was that most of these users could not delete their accounts
with companies such as eBay, Amazon or Friends Reunited.

While with eBay the process is complicated and time consuming, with other
sites like Amazon it appears there are no facilities to delete one’s own

“In our view it is in these companies financial interest to hide the account
deletion function, and thus they have acted in an entirely self-serving
manner that denies millions of customers an important right.” stated Privacy

Privacy International has also asked ICO to investigate on eBays sharing
personal information with about 10,000 organizations and individuals that
are members of VeRO programme. According to eBay, the programme is a scheme
“designed to aid the investigation of fraud or other unlawful activity on
the site” but Privacy International considers it “disproportionate and
possibly insecure”.

ICO can ask for more information from eBay regarding the way they process
the data by an Information Notice. In case eBay does not comply with the
Information Notice, ICO can issue an Enforcement Notice making requests to
eBay. Non-compliance with the Enforcement Notice is considered a crime and
eBay may be considered in breach of the Data Protection Act and fined up to
5 000£.

PI report on online privacy — Dumb Design or Dirty Tricks? (31.08.2006)[347]=x-347-542384

PI report on online privacy — Dumb Design or Dirty Tricks? (31.08.2006)
Summary of research on complaints regarding online organisations in the UK

Privacy group says eBay breaches Data Protection Act (31.08.2006)