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Etsy: Now Worse Than Facebook For Respecting User Privacy?

I just discovered via the Consumerist that Etsy.com enacted a really ugly privacy policy some little while ago.  Which Etsy claims to have notified people about by email, but I certainly didn’t receive any such thing.  And the new, much more exposed default privacy settings are opt-OUT, rather than opt-in.  Charming.

So what’s new, by default?

  • Full names of users who have provided them are available to anyone browsing the site and search engines.
  • Your bookmarked favourites are available to anyone browsing the site and search engines.
  • Anything you’ve bought via Etsy is visible to anyone browsing the site and search engines.

Check out the default privacy settings screen shot from my account:

New default privacy settings for Etsy.com

I imagine this was done so that Etsy can get greater visibility for their clients’ products in search engines.  Well and good, points to them wanting to get their customers more exposure.  However, minus several million for doing it by exposing big chunks of buyers’ information by default!  Better go to your Etsy privacy settings and adjust ’em today if you haven’t already.


  1. Adam Brown 2011-03-15 17:30

    Hi, Adam Brown from Etsy here.

    Just wanted to let you know that we have resolved this. As of right now, all your purchases and feedback on Etsy are now automatically set to private.

    You can read more about it in our blog: http://www.etsy.com/storque/handmade-life/rethinking-feedback-12472/

    • Tyler Style 2011-03-15 18:29

      Thanks for taking the time to respond to my concerns on my little blog here, Adam! Good to know that Etsy is being proactive about such things. I read the blog you linked to, thanks, and seems to address the issue quite well. From the post, it sounds more like it was an unintended and overlooked side effect than anything else. I appreciate the time you’ve taken to point it out to me personally – kudos to Etsy for doing so on such a fine grained level, and in such a timely fashion!

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