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Etsy.com reveals customers' real name and buying history

124678

Posts

  • seasleepyseasleepy Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Rikushix wrote: »
    bowen wrote: »
    Rikushix wrote: »
    I'm still hoping it gains internet momentum, I'm not sure if it will yet.

    It will. If anything PA tends to help things like this, RealID, and other stupid shit gain critical mass much quicker. Now if only we had the blizzard forums on our side...

    I want to get the word out but I have no idea if there are even any options as far as alerting members of the media. I don't want to be sensationalist and I can't think of what I might do other than email bloggers and paper columnists saying "I think you should write about this!"

    That said...maybe Computer World? This seems like something they would stand behind.

    Consumerist seems like a logical place if nobody's sent them a tip yet.

    seasleepy on
    Steam | Nintendo: seasleepy | PSN: seasleepy1
  • RikushixRikushix Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    seasleepy wrote: »
    Rikushix wrote: »
    bowen wrote: »
    Rikushix wrote: »
    I'm still hoping it gains internet momentum, I'm not sure if it will yet.

    It will. If anything PA tends to help things like this, RealID, and other stupid shit gain critical mass much quicker. Now if only we had the blizzard forums on our side...

    I want to get the word out but I have no idea if there are even any options as far as alerting members of the media. I don't want to be sensationalist and I can't think of what I might do other than email bloggers and paper columnists saying "I think you should write about this!"

    That said...maybe Computer World? This seems like something they would stand behind.

    Consumerist seems like a logical place if nobody's sent them a tip yet.

    Why did I not think of this. This is genius. I'm going to email them right now.

    Rikushix on
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  • RikushixRikushix Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    So someone left a Disqus comment on my Tumblr post - not sure if that was anyone here, but it's worth repeating. All that talk about sex toys and the ease of googling people's names? Look at this buyer:

    http://www.etsy.com/people/ShaiOnly/feedback?ref=pr_feedback

    And this is her LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/shaih

    :(

    Rikushix on
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  • ArbitraryDescriptorArbitraryDescriptor Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    bowen wrote: »
    Reddit and slashdot are the big name ones I can think of that I check relatively frequently.

    tried to submit to /. but someone beat me to it; which is a good thing.

    They used the phrase 'oversized glass sex toy' a lot less than I did, perhaps it's for the best.

    [Edit]
    It isn't posted yet, here is the link to that guy's submission:

    http://slashdot.org/submission/1497430/Etsycom-exposes-buyers-real-name-sexy-purchases

    I'm not clear on how the submission process works, I thought the editors just picked them, but there's a vote up/down mechanic on that page if you're logged in.

    ArbitraryDescriptor on
  • adytumadytum Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Rikushix wrote: »
    So someone left a Disqus comment on my Tumblr post - not sure if that was anyone here, but it's worth repeating. All that talk about sex toys and the ease of googling people's names? Look at this buyer:

    http://www.etsy.com/people/ShaiOnly/feedback?ref=pr_feedback

    And this is her LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/shaih

    :(

    Maybe she just likes glasswear and has a tense back?

    Anyway, I've closed my account even though all I've purchased were some silly punk accessories.

    adytum on
  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Ugh, that is terrible. I hope google uses that new blocking feature they implemented to block etsy from its global searches. Not that bing or anyone will follow suit, though.

    bowen on
    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    bowen wrote: »
    Reddit and slashdot are the big name ones I can think of that I check relatively frequently.

    tried to submit to /. but someone beat me to it; which is a good thing.

    They used the phrase 'oversized glass sex toy' a lot less than I did, perhaps it's for the best.

    Maybe I missed it, but I don't see it.

    bowen on
    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
  • ArbitraryDescriptorArbitraryDescriptor Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    It's still in the submission phase, it only linked me to it when it saw I was submitting the same story.

    See edit above

    or here: http://slashdot.org/submission/14974...sexy-purchases

    It needs approval.

    ArbitraryDescriptor on
  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Ah well, that's good then. Hopefully I see it in the next few days.

    bowen on
    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
  • ArbitraryDescriptorArbitraryDescriptor Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Yeah that says it was posted Sunday. They're pretty slow over there.

    ArbitraryDescriptor on
  • RikushixRikushix Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Okay, I sent a detailed email to Consumerist. I'm not feeling very confident about it, I can't even imagine how many tips they get a day.

    Rikushix on
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  • Kate of LokysKate of Lokys Registered User
    edited March 2011
    Shit.

    Someone who looks me up on Etsy will realize that almost exactly two years ago, I bought a ferocious bear hat and scarf set. (Of course, Pixels refuses to let me wear them out in public anyway, although I *did* get away with leading one of my seminars as a bear on Halloween that year).

    To my mind, there are three interrelated problems here. First, as discussed in this thread, there's the issue of Etsy making customer and seller profiles publicly searchable, and yeah, that's bad, as others have explained in detail.

    The second issue is one of information management: some people seem to have a hard time adjusting to the fact that on the internet, not all websites need or deserve all of their real information. Facebook wants to know my date of birth? That makes a certain amount of sense, since it uses the information to send out automated notices to all of my friends to remind them of it. Etsy wants to know my date of birth? Why? What legitimate use do they have for that information? Some random gaming forum wants to know my date of birth, place of residence, mother's maiden name, and favourite childhood pet? Fuck you, no, that's none of your business.

    The internet is only as anonymous as its users choose to be. I'm fairly open about who I am on Penny Arcade - hell, I wrote an undergraduate thesis on this place a few years back, which means that anyone who cared to look at it knew which university I attended, and from there it's a pretty short step to digging up a biography. But when I register for the aforementioned random gaming forum, they don't need to know shit about me, so I don't tell them anything: I use a different username, different password, I fill in different information if they demand it - why sure, of course I'm really a 19 year old man from Oregon!.

    People need to be more careful about who they trust online. Suspicion and anonymity should be the default state. Trust should have to be earned, not granted automatically to any jackhole with a phpBB board. But for a lot of people, particularly in certain demographic groups, that's a hard lesson to learn: my grandmother signs up for every website with her full real name because she just has no concept of using an alias, and my youngest cousin does the same because she grew up with the internet and doesn't understand that it could ever be detrimental to her future to have fully-indexed, easily-searched, public records of her status updates as an 18 year old freshman sneaking into her first bars and getting shitfaced three times a week.

    We really need to be teaching kids about this stuff in grade school.

    The third issue, of course, is our ridiculous Puritan attitude towards sex. There is just no reason whatsoever to think less of someone because she bought a dildo on Etsy, or because he sells homoerotic sculptures out of his home, or whatever. Seriously, it's retarded. If you're a religious zealot who looks down on other human beings because they masturbate or like dudes, that's your problem, not theirs.

    Kate of Lokys on
  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    A lot of times those services won't let you continue without that shit. It's different sharing that information with a corporate machine giving me coupons on the mail compared to google tied directly with my physical name. Let's say you only used your name to buy something on etsy, let's say your name was unique enough that a google search turned you up. Let's say you like to masturbate with phallic objects. This is a problem, and it's not really "you shared too much" more than "company wants to make money, so, facebook your data!"

    Some people are open about sex, but, you know, I don't want people to know my object of choice, and maybe I don't want them to know I like large double headed dildos for extended pleasure. That's not puritan, that's privacy.

    bowen on
    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
  • metrometrometrometro Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    The third issue, of course, is our ridiculous Puritan attitude towards sex.

    I want to live in a world where that doesn't matter, but I don't. Employers, cops, peers all use sexual difference as a weapon. I wish it would stop. Until then, privacy exists to allow people to live their lives in peace.

    metrometro on
  • RikushixRikushix Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    metrometro wrote: »
    The third issue, of course, is our ridiculous Puritan attitude towards sex.

    I want to live in a world where that doesn't matter, but I don't. Employers, cops, peers all use sexual difference as a weapon. I wish it would stop. Until then, privacy exists to allow people to live their lives in peace.

    Basically.

    I'm ridiculously open minded and if I met people who bought these items, I wouldn't think any less or more of them than I would other people.

    But a potential employer might not think the same way.

    Rikushix on
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  • adytumadytum Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Individuals worldwide are still regularly murdered for their preferences.

    While it's ridiculous, it is a problem and one that is very clearly intertwined with privacy.

    adytum on
  • RikushixRikushix Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Sent an email to Computerworld.

    Am I alone here or are we in agreement that we want this to get larger?

    Rikushix on
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  • TofystedethTofystedeth Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Rikushix wrote: »
    bowen wrote: »
    Rikushix wrote: »
    I'm still hoping it gains internet momentum, I'm not sure if it will yet.

    It will. If anything PA tends to help things like this, RealID, and other stupid shit gain critical mass much quicker. Now if only we had the blizzard forums on our side...

    I want to get the word out but I have no idea if there are even any options as far as alerting members of the media. I don't want to be sensationalist and I can't think of what I might do other than email bloggers and paper columnists saying "I think you should write about this!"

    That said...maybe Computer World? This seems like something they would stand behind.

    I already PMed the OP to send the story tip to Ars Technica, since they're huge into web privacy stuff and have a huge readership , but more people doing it could help.

    Tofystedeth on
    steam_sig.png
  • Kate of LokysKate of Lokys Registered User
    edited March 2011
    bowen wrote: »
    A lot of times those services won't let you continue without that shit. It's different sharing that information with a corporate machine giving me coupons on the mail compared to google tied directly with my physical name. Let's say you only used your name to buy something on etsy, let's say your name was unique enough that a google search turned you up. Let's say you like to masturbate with phallic objects. This is a problem, and it's not really "you shared too much" more than "company wants to make money, so, facebook your data!"
    I agree that it's a definite problem when companies change their privacy policies mid-stream; my point was more that people need to be more discriminating up front about who they entrust with their information. If a website I'm registering for requires that I provide an address, but I don't think they have a legitimate need for that information, I have no qualms about just making something up - and neither should anyone else.

    The whole point of nicknames is that we *don't* have to use our real names on sites like Etsy. So, why provide that information to them in the first place?

    And yeah, I fully realize that the whole "sex is EVIL unless you're making babies with your spouse!" attitude is pretty firmly entrenched at this point, but that doesn't stop me from thinking it's stupid and sad <_<

    Kate of Lokys on
  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    bowen wrote: »
    A lot of times those services won't let you continue without that shit. It's different sharing that information with a corporate machine giving me coupons on the mail compared to google tied directly with my physical name. Let's say you only used your name to buy something on etsy, let's say your name was unique enough that a google search turned you up. Let's say you like to masturbate with phallic objects. This is a problem, and it's not really "you shared too much" more than "company wants to make money, so, facebook your data!"
    I agree that it's a definite problem when companies change their privacy policies mid-stream; my point was more that people need to be more discriminating up front about who they entrust with their information. If a website I'm registering for requires that I provide an address, but I don't think they have a legitimate need for that information, I have no qualms about just making something up - and neither should anyone else.

    The whole point of nicknames is that we *don't* have to use our real names on sites like Etsy. So, why provide that information to them in the first place?

    And yeah, I fully realize that the whole "sex is EVIL unless you're making babies with your spouse!" attitude is pretty firmly entrenched at this point, but that doesn't stop me from thinking it's stupid and sad <_<

    What about your first and last name? Often, that is all that is needed. I mean we can get really verbose, but there is only so many Micah Whipple's in the world, for instance. You may not have needed too, I am unclear on the specifics myself, but it was innocuous at the time and they may have had a privacy statement up that said otherwise. So it was provided in good faith, very similarly to the way Blizzard was planning on doing it.

    Doubly so for sellers, where you often have to provide that information.

    bowen on
    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
  • RikushixRikushix Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Rikushix wrote: »
    bowen wrote: »
    Rikushix wrote: »
    I'm still hoping it gains internet momentum, I'm not sure if it will yet.

    It will. If anything PA tends to help things like this, RealID, and other stupid shit gain critical mass much quicker. Now if only we had the blizzard forums on our side...

    I want to get the word out but I have no idea if there are even any options as far as alerting members of the media. I don't want to be sensationalist and I can't think of what I might do other than email bloggers and paper columnists saying "I think you should write about this!"

    That said...maybe Computer World? This seems like something they would stand behind.

    I already PMed the OP to send the story tip to Ars Technica, since they're huge into web privacy stuff and have a huge readership , but more people doing it could help.

    Also sent one to Ars for the hell of it.

    Rikushix on
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  • japanjapan Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Rikushix wrote: »
    Sent an email to Computerworld.

    Am I alone here or are we in agreement that we want this to get larger?

    Definitely.

    I kind of think this is particularly insidious because Etsy seem to think that the people buying stuff through it think of themselves as part of the "Etsy community", whereas I know for a fact that at least some of them are people that just want(ed) to buy an awesome hat.

    If any mainstream ecommerce site suddenly went "Oh hay here's a list of our customers and everything they've bought" the media would go fucking nuts. The only reason Etsy seems able to get away with it is the lolhippies expressed on the first page.

    EDIT: Also if you're buying something most people aren't going to provide minimal or false information because everybody's used to filling out the credit card information fields.

    japan on
  • AiouaAioua Ora Occidens Ora OptimaRegistered User regular
    edited March 2011
    [off topic]
    In defence of beardhats: If you live someplace where it doesn't often get below freezing (say, seattle) and you go out in a balaclava or with a scarf wrapped around your face, people look at you like you're some kind of bank robber/axe murderer. If you're wearing a beardhat, they just think you're weird. And I'm fine with weird.

    [on topic]
    ¬_¬ Really guys? You had carved out such a nice niche. Now you're gonna throw it all away... Here's hoping they get in some trouble for this.

    Aioua on
    life's a game that you're bound to lose / like using a hammer to pound in screws
    fuck up once and you break your thumb / if you're happy at all then you're god damn dumb
    that's right we're on a fucked up cruise / God is dead but at least we have booze
    bad things happen, no one knows why / the sun burns out and everyone dies
  • RikushixRikushix Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    japan wrote: »
    EDIT: Also if you're buying something most people aren't going to provide minimal or false information because everybody's used to filling out the credit card information fields.

    This is a fantastic point.

    Rikushix on
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  • durandal4532durandal4532 Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Rikushix wrote: »
    japan wrote: »
    EDIT: Also if you're buying something most people aren't going to provide minimal or false information because everybody's used to filling out the credit card information fields.

    This is a fantastic point.

    That is a good summation of the trick, definitely. I used to just not sign up when sites asked me that, it's only recently that I started putting like "no, thank you" as First/Last. It's a habit to respond honestly.

    durandal4532 on
    Take a moment to donate what you can to Critical Resistance and Black Lives Matter.
  • LadyMLadyM Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    I'm doing my small part by posting about this on the other boards I'm on. :^: :^:

    I usually put my real first/last name, but you can bet I won't after this.

    LadyM on
  • metrometrometrometro Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Hi folks,

    I added some to new information my overview of the EtsyFail. Of note, thanks to a poster here for flagging that Etsy is TRUSTe certified. The TRUSTe press office has not responded to my request for comment on how this matches up with their certification standards, or whether they reviewed the 2011 privacy policy as Etsy implied they did.

    I also posted some blurred screengrabs of people who'd favorited "Pretty in Pink Bondage Cuffs", which sounds like an awesome product that I wouldn't want my parents to see.

    Feel free to link to or repost:

    http://www.eylerwerve.com/2011/etsy-com-publishes-real-names-and-purchase-history-of-buyers/

    I also got a short thank you email from Consumerist tipline, so they've at least seen it.

    metrometro on
  • RikushixRikushix Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Damn! I didn't get any response from Consumerist. Clearly they liked your email better :P

    Was it a form response or an actual, brief "Thanks for alerting us to this"?

    Rikushix on
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  • Marty81Marty81 Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Rikushix wrote: »
    japan wrote: »
    EDIT: Also if you're buying something most people aren't going to provide minimal or false information because everybody's used to filling out the credit card information fields.

    This is a fantastic point.

    Not only that - If I'm registering for a site where I intend to buy something, you can bet I'm going to be putting in my real name and address. Because I like my mail being delivered to the right place.

    Marty81 on
  • TofystedethTofystedeth Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Looks like the story just hit Ars Technica.

    Tofystedeth on
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  • TofystedethTofystedeth Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Also with links to this thread in the story.

    Tofystedeth on
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  • metrometrometrometro Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Boom. Go Ars. I hit their tip line this morning with a Help Me Obi-Wan.

    Also, just got this in the inbox:

    Thank you for contacting the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF). We appreciate you sharing your article with us. I'll let our privacy folks know about it.


    So, uh, IT'S ON MOTHERFUCKERS. Now go send some money to the EFF.

    metrometro on
  • BobbleBobble Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Looks like the story just hit Ars Technica.
    Ars wrote:
    Critics of Etsy's new policy seem to have a thing for searching for artisan dildos, but the point is pretty clear.

    Well done, guys. Thank God they didn't get linked to the Mass Effect threads or the Comic Edits thread :P

    That said, well done, guys. Glad this is getting out there for people

    Bobble on
  • RikushixRikushix Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Awesome! This is fantastic. Damn, why do I have to be in class!

    Rikushix on
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  • tapeslingertapeslinger Space Unicorn Slush Ranger Social Justice Rebel ScumRegistered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Just emailed EtsyBitch about this as well with links to the PA thread, the UEF thread and the writeup on Ars Technica.

    EB is usually populated with disgruntled Etsians past and present so it's not a new audience or anything, but they tend to collect info on all things Etsycorp so I figured it couldn't hurt.

    tapeslinger on
  • RikushixRikushix Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Business Insider just published a short story about this fifteen minutes ago

    Rikushix on
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  • rizriz Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Looks like the story just hit Ars Technica.

    "Critics of Etsy's new policy seem to have a thing for searching for artisan dildos"

    hahaha.

    riz on
  • metrometrometrometro Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Business Insider also has some stats on Etsy: 400 million in 2010 revenue. Etsy takes 3% of that, plus some listing fees. That's 12 million, minus X for expenses like running the site, in annual profits.

    Starting to feel more like Facebook all the time.

    As I wrote elsewhere:
    Why did this happen? Why publish buyer profiles in what the Etsy forums show to be a crafty community of sellers with an ecommerce site bolted on? Here’s a thought: social network companies are valued by the number of members. Since buyers might outnumber sellers by 100 to one, under current bubble logic, that puts Etsy at 100x in market value if their previous buyers are included — by default and secretly, if need be — in a public “social commerce” experience.

    The real question here isn't when are they going to undo this, but when's are they filing for an IPO? This is a classic pump-and-dump move with the "social network" member numbers. If anyone wants to go search the SEC databases (it's online, EDGAR I think it's called) to see if they've already filed anything, that'd be awesome. I have to get some work done.

    metrometro on
  • metrometrometrometro Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Nevermind, here;s the IPO.

    http://www.thealarmclock.com/mt/archives/2010/08/etsy_the_hipste.html

    God I hate being right.

    metrometro on
  • tapeslingertapeslinger Space Unicorn Slush Ranger Social Justice Rebel ScumRegistered User regular
    edited March 2011
    metrometro wrote: »
    Nevermind, here;s the IPO.

    http://www.thealarmclock.com/mt/archives/2010/08/etsy_the_hipste.html

    God I hate being right.

    this article fails to mention that Etsy's been viewing their sales site as a "social" site, which I think is pretty relevant to their current business plan...

    tapeslinger on
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