Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Etsy Caves - kinda... okay not really.

A media firestorm seems to be the only thing that can move Etsy from its handmade pedestal enough to actually remove the headphones and stop glancing at fake Chuck Norris' twitter-pretend it's listening long enough to trick you into believing it. Don't be fooled.

They just released this little ditty addressing complaints and what they are doing/have done to address them and actually eek out a half-assed apology and a half-baked fix:


Yesterday and today there have been a handful of articles reporting that purchases on Etsy are public. The articles have led to concerns by members of our community.

We want to apologize. We also want to set the record straight about how our product works and about changes we made today in response to your feedback.

Are my purchases on Etsy public?

No. As of right now, all your purchases on Etsy are private.

Were there changes to Etsy that made my purchases public?

No. The issue here is our Feedback system, which has not changed in six years. We do not directly publish your purchases on Etsy. However, when a seller leaves feedback for an item you bought, or you leave feedback for an item you purchased, we would link to the item. Our Feedback system has always worked this way; our original thinking was that it's important to know more about the transaction, to better establish trust in the marketplace.

We added the option to enter your real name when registering. Right next to this text field, it says: "Your full name will appear on your public profile. This is optional." Some people enter their name, some don't. As of right now, 25% of people (including us) have entered their real name.

It is the confluence of these two things that led us to this position: if you enter your real name, purchase an item, and the seller leaves feedback for this item, this purchase will be publicly visible via our Feedback system. Search engines index our site, which means this data can turn up there, too. It's been this way since October.

If nothing has recently changed, what's going on?

There is a lot of misinformation being spread right now. One blog post even has the outlandish title "Etsy Makes All Of Its Users' Activity Public." This is simply untrue. On Etsy, private conversations, financial information, billing data — all are now and have always been strictly private.There was an article published on ArsTechnica that made clear how direct the connection was between using your real name on Etsy, buying an item and receiving public feedback for that item. The reaction to this article has made us realize that we need to change the way our Feedback system works, and this is what we’ve already done today.

Why make any changes to the Feedback system?

The article and response highlighted for us how we've outgrown our current Feedback system. It dates back to a time when payment for items was sent after completing the checkout process on Etsy. This meant that sellers needed to know how trustworthy their buyer was. We now require payment prior to completing checkout, so this issue has basically gone away.

We believe that markets are conversations. We want people to discuss what they purchase, although this will often mean discussing it in private. As such, we have removed the link from a piece of feedback (which is public) to the item that was purchased (which is now private).

What is Etsy’s view on privacy?

We take privacy very seriously. We work with TRUSTe and audit our privacy policies regularly, notifying all members via email any time a substantive change is made.

In the future, we may provide an option to share individual purchases publicly at the time of purchase. This will be completely opt-in and on a purchase-by-purchase basis.

We are deeply sorry for any confusion and will work hard to regain your trust.

What’s next?

We have been working quickly to make changes based on your input and opinions. We will continue to work on this, for what’s really needed is a rethinking of our entire Feedback system. In the meantime, all purchases are private, and feedback doesn’t link to items.

If you have any more questions or concerns, please email support [!at] etsy.com or convo us directly on Etsy.

Thank you.
Rob (CEO) and Adam (COO)


The forums aren't buying it. Many sellers immediately pointed out the REAL issues remain unaddressed: no notification when this went live, real names going public and a deafening lack of answers for the user-base in the forums themselves.



And those "handful of articles"? Artsy Alien was nice enough to list them all here:

Consumerist - http://consumerist.com/2011/03/you-want-your-real-name-associated-with-your-etsy-purchase-history-right.html

Ars Technica - http://arstechnica.com/web/news/2011/03/etsy-users-irked-after-buyers-purchases-exposed-to-the-world.ars

BoingBoing - http://www.boingboing.net/2011/03/15/etsys-privacy-valdez.html

MSNBC - http://technolog.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2011/03/15/6273251-e-commerce-site-etsy-exposes-users-shopping-histories

Forbes - http://blogs.forbes.com/kashmirhill/2011/03/15/etsys-experiment-with-social-could-be-costly/

Digital Trends - http://www.digitaltrends.com/computing/etsy-comes-under-fire-for-revealing-buyers-names-purchase-histories/

Help Net Security - http://www.net-security.org/secworld.php?id=10746

NY Magazine - http://nymag.com/daily/intel/2011/03/unannounced_privacy_changes_ex.html

NY Convergence - http://nyconvergence.com/2011/03/etsy-exposes-buyers-and-purchases-online.html

Auctionbytes - http://www.auctionbytes.com/cab/cab/abn/y11/m03/i15/s02

The Business Insider - http://www.businessinsider.com/etsy-takes-a-page-from-the-facebook-playbook-2011-3

Gizmodo - http://gizmodo.com/5782146/etsy-privacy-catastrophe-reveals-users-full-names-dildo-preferences-and-other-less-embarrassing-purchase-information

Village Voice - http://blogs.villagevoice.com/runninscared/2011/03/etsy_privacy_policy_dildos.php

The Mary Sue (awesome new geek chick blog, if you haven't seen it yet) - http://www.themarysue.com/etsy-privacy-settings/

Buzzfeed - http://www.buzzfeed.com/donnad/etsy-new-privacy-policy-not-so-private

About.com - http://antivirus.about.com/b/2011/03/14/the-etsy-trojan.htm

Reputation.com - http://reputation.com/blog/2011/03/15/etsy-privacy-change-shows-users-purchase-histories/

Yahoo - http://news.yahoo.com/s/digitaltrends/20110315/tc_digitaltrends/etsycomesunderfireforrevealingbuyersnamespurchasehistories

Salon.com - http://www.salon.com/entertainment/tv/feature/2011/03/15/etsy_privacy_people_search/

NowPublic - http://www.nowpublic.com/tech-biz/etsy-people-search-privacy-policy-change-exposes-users-2767071.html

Washington Post - http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-tech/post/the-circuit-kerry-hutchinson-introduce-infrastructure-bank-franken-to-propose-new-net-neutrality-bill-free-calls-texts-to-japan/2011/03/08/AB7m9gW_blog.html

Geek Sugar - http://www.geeksugar.com/Etsy-Privacy-Settings-14921901


Added: Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/03/15/etsy-privacy-debacle-site_n_836277.html

Added: Ars technica Update post


That more than I can hold in twelve hands, how about you?

45 Comments:

AbsintheDragonfly said...

wanted to make sure that google got more info... reposted the links.

Eveline said...

"If you have any more questions or concerns, please email support [!at] etsy.com or convo us directly on Etsy."

Typical. I wonder how many threads get closed tonight...

Wolf said...

There's more articles than that. I found 29-30 total.

http://wolfsilveroak.insanejournal.com/675667.html

The damage has been done, it's too late for this halfassed fix.

The Funny One said...

Not only is this Dorkie inadequate, it's another nail in the Etsy coffin. "Regain your trust"? Etsy/Kalin was never interested in seller trust in the first place.

They're interested making big bucks from a half-baked, easy formula for taking the weekly high seller and promoting the shit out of it, preferably not handmade in 2011.

I never read such total bullshit in my life, even on Etsy.

Etsy ain't social, it's a bulldozer and a bully.

Anne Onymous said...

I've been absorbing all this in a sort of numb silence, as I'm sure everybody else has. Watching them strut their code as craft stuff at sxsw last week was bad. This is kind of like a poetic justice. http://codeascraft.etsy.com/2011/03/01/moving-fast-at-scale-sxsw/

foxaz said...

The damage is done.
With so many articles in so many places, guess they've closed the door on selling handmade.
Who would want to buy anything on Etsy?

AbsintheDragonfly said...

blah blah blah and bladee bladee bladee blah...we want our IPO...and fuck you all...give us your dimes.

Really said...

The thing that pisses me off the MOST about all this is the fact they have been told for months, literally, by their own customers why this is such a bad idea. They completely blew it off and are now acting like the only legitimate reasons are on Ars??? It's the SAME SHIT they've been told for MONTHS!

WTF Etsy you condescending morons!

~jay said...

I am still just awestruck at Rob's assertion on the ArsTechnica blog that he is "not ever" going for an IPO, when giving the topic a simple far from exhaustive google search turns up, I dunno, exactly the opposite information.

people, we have to keep blogging about this or they will think that their campaign of "lawl sorries we fixed it" is enough to stop the outside forces from commenting on their deceptive user policies.

Violets new Vintage said...

The Funny One says:

Etsy ain't social, it's a bulldozer and a bully.


I have to agree with this..and they have forum cupcake bullies who are still in denial saying the articles are passing on 'misinformation' and talking about it just causes Etsy more problems....like E didn't do anything wrong. huh??

anotherangryetsyseller said...

They didn't want to listen when it was just stupid Etsy members that were up in arms.
http://www.etsy.com/teams/7714/ideas/discuss/6762948/page/1/

So much better to wait until this stupidity blew up all over the internet.

I keep thinking Etsy can't top their last fuck up, and yet somehow they always do.

eclipse said...

They claim it's super easy to opt-out and remove your real name, right?
Then explain this: They refused a user's request to change their name! (not username)

http://www.etsy.com/teams/7718/site-help/discuss/6819691/page/11

LucysPlace says
Even though my real name is displayed on profile page, I requested my name to be changed and Etsy declined this request. They said they wanted people's shops to be known by their name.

If someone wants their name changed (or removed) how on earth can Etsy deny them this??

eclipse said...

Another user who tried to change their real name (not username) and Etsy pressured them not to, and dragged their feet, making the seller jump through additional hoops. The longer they wait to carry out the user's request, the more likely that Google will cache the page with the full name on it.


http://www.etsy.com/teams/7718/site-help/discuss/6819122/page/27

onthegrain says

And it's not entirely true about being able to change your profile name, as stated in the article. I sent a request to Etsy a few weeks ago to remove my real name, and I got a response listing all their reasons why I need to leave my real name. I can change my name, but I was strongly discouraged from doing so and would have to send an additional request. I shouldn't have to jump through hoops to protect myself and my children.

The Funny One said...

So many relevant comments, but we also have hundreds of pages of Forum comments that repeat the same WTF. Sellers don't want the Etsy version of "social" - not only because it does nothing to push sales, it's completely non-intuitive. It did NOT come out of 7 years of operating an Etsy store. It did not work its way organically from the seller up to the site format.

It is a forced, "do or die" false and complicated/convoluted/no on can understand un-natural structure that is being forced on sellers without one valid reason behind it.

Even IF Etsy sent out email notifications (which they did not) they couldn't explain this bizarre "social" set-up because IT MAKES NO SENSE!

And as we can all see clearly now, Rokali couldn't write a clear (or truthful)sentence if his life depended on it.

He can't explain it, and all his employees who post dozens of times a day in the Forums are only making it worse. (And they can't write either, but they sure communicate their crappy attitude towards sellers with every post!)

They continue to CONFUSE THE ISSUE because Etsy Social is NOT EXPLAINABLE! IT MAKES NO SENSE! It has nothing to do with selling. It's a complete time-waster and it confuses the shit out of buyers who are leaving by the hundreds every goddamn day.

And these buyers are NOT coming back.

E-PRIVACYADVOCATES.COM said...

I represent consumers involved in Internet Privacy matters.

Anyone with info,concern or comments on this matter, please contact me.

Internet Privacy Attorney
Joe Malley
Dallas, Texas
Malleylaw@gmail.com

AbsintheDragonfly said...

from my blog awaiting approval from me...

Adam Brown
etsy.com
adam@etsy.com
66.162.68.162
Submitted on 2011/03/15 at 5:07 pm

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/

Artangeli said...

OK, well now I've got coffee everywhere! Thanks, Etsy.

Imagine my surprise. I open up my morning read, Huffington Post, and there is the Etsy logo right at the top with the breaking stories. Like Japan.

Damn, I think, what now. Oh God. Click. Wha....
OMG my privacy.... my shops!
(I have nothing in them, but they are on vacation waiting for the second coming.. er... someone competent to be hired in a decision making capacity at Etsy. One has to have hope).

Actually, once I'd cleaned up the coffee and started breathing normally again, I realized it didn't really matter. None of this really matters because Etsy's attitude is just part of a larger pandemic. It is not, and has not been for a long time , about Etsy, the sellers, handmade, etc. That's all just part of the groupthink illusion.

It is about only one thing. You have a bunch of names and traffic. How do you leverage that to make the most money out of it?

Screw the sellers, the selling, the handmade, the search, the forums and everything else, because those things are only necessary inconveniences. Leverage the traffic. Leverage the names and the clicks. Put Rokali and his army in place to guard the inmates while the real work is done on someone's laptop poolside in the Virgins.

dizzy said...

Not sure if you have seen this article update

http://www.net-security.org/secworld.php?id=10751

Stifler's Mom said...

Keeping sellers happy takes a back seat to making investors happy. Those guys want their return on the cash they invested - that is a huge hammer over Etsy's head.

A marketing site measures it's success in $$ generated for it's customers.

A social site measures it's success by the number of members signed up, ready to view paid advertising.

Obviously, Rokali's bosses have decided that advertising revenue generated by social media is what is going to provide them with the payback they expect.

So what if they lose a few sellers along the way, there are plenty to take their place. And don't be surprised when Etsy rolls out some kind of "sponsorship" program whereby sellers can pay to have their items on the front page and/or in the margin of every page, ala Facebook and Google.

After all, if you're renewing your items, you're already paying to advertise on Etsy.

P.S. Artfire has no VC investors, therefore the owners are responsible to their customers and nobody else.

Gavin McCloud said...

Please, please, someone sue them into oblivion.

Etsy is a blight on the world at this point. That sleazy little curly haired prick and their slime ball investors are harming the entire craft world with their green, incompetence, egotism and arrogance.

Not just injurious, it's insulting, given they proclaim their mission to be the opposite. Fuck you, 'loughby'.

Indigo said...

Speaking of weirdness, I requested to have my account shut down in January.

I received an email this week, (March) That someone had added me to their circle!

WTF!!

The Funny One said...

ALERT: just posted by sean11 in the THIRD (3/16) long-winded, link-saturated "explanation" of why Etsy is right and everyone else is wrong.

Note the comments re "Etsy's privacy policy has been up for 2 yrs" which is sean11-speak for hey, jerks, have nothing better to do than wade through 550 pages of ridiculously wasteful confusing and insane paras about who the hell knows what? Here are 25 links to read about lots more BS!

Keep puffing, Etsy, it's still the same old, long, laborious, and convoluted muck.

Give the writing a break and READ your own damn forums. Sellers have already said it all, you still refuse to pay attention. It's on your own damn site and you still ignore it.

Ms. Ribbonstein said...

I like how they just keep insisting that nothing has changed in x years, etc.

Right, 35 articles were published because people jsut all noticed this at once... right...

Same old fuckups, awful attitude and lies as usual, it just gets more public each time. I wonder how long they'll last.

Artangeli said...

"A social site measures it's success by the number of members signed up, ready to view paid advertising.

Obviously, Rokali's bosses have decided that advertising revenue generated by social media is what is going to provide them with the payback they expect."

That's what I'm talkin' about, Mom!

But you'd think somewhere along the line that they'd realize that trashing their own reputation and generating a bunch of resentment in their memebers and customers just MIGHT prevent them from their objective - making a whole bunch of money off us fools.

Whimsical said...

Really said...
The thing that pisses me off the MOST about all this is the fact they have been told for months, literally, by their own customers why this is such a bad idea. They completely blew it off and are now acting like the only legitimate reasons are on Ars???

.........................

But you see, if Etsy were to credit the sellers/buyers as the ones who had pointed out the peril, then Etsy would be admitting that not only were their customers right, but that Etsy was warned a long time ago but did nothing about it, and it would give further fuel to the sellers/buyers that say Etsy should listen to it’s customers, and Etsy is so not about to do that. Ever.

Artful Mosaic Supplies said...

Kalin is full of crap as usual.

For anyone who is interested in privacy violations, you can also lodge a complaint against Etsy here with TrustE...

http://watchdog.truste.com/pvr.php?page=complaint

Bonnie said...

What I don't understand about all of these Etsy "chess moves" (getting rid of buyer privacy, heavy policing of forums, bans, mutings, facebook-like changes, circle, not fixing the search, ignoring seller concerns, not advertising, displaying number of circles, truncating the profile/about in favor of favorites and teams & all of the "gates" like coral-gate, rape card-gate and so on) is that, sure, it may be about kissing up to Venture Capitalists, but if sellers and buyers leave because you have pissed them off to the point of no-return, with an incredible load of blunders & ineffectual stupid gimmicks that hurt seller shops and reputations, what do you have left?

Once I saw what they did with privacy-gate (and the ineffectual fix), I felt that Etsy was going to be in an ever-downward spiral: THINK LOTS OF LAWSUITS NEXT (& money being used for that instead of Etsy business)!!

Are sellers going to want Etsy to use the money that they built Etsy with to defend itself with an endless stream of attorneys over a privacy change that sellers did not support in the first place!?

You can only disregard sellers (and buyers) for so long before you pay the piper no matter how much VC money, VC pressures and VC support you have.

Etsy has lost its integrity (& that is even more evident in their responses). Seriously lost it... Don't know if they can ever get it back unless they become a whole new company, new CEO, new staff... Rob Kalin played with people's livelihoods and he just isn't winning in the polls of public opinion ANYWHERE.

I just don't think this issue is going to go away quietly with any fix, not this time. I'm surprised Etsy hasn't had lots and lots of lawsuits already.

I might be wrong about the mass lawsuits, but I don't think so. We'll see...

Bonnie said...

Post script:

I just went over to the Etsy forums and found this thread about a woman who has been stalked and assaulted:

http://www.etsy.com/teams/7718/site-help/discuss/6821224/

Apparently, she knew to change her privacy settings on the site, but there are going to be so many more who didn't get an e-mail from Etsy or who didn't open the e-mail from Etsy because they were on vacation, or any number of scenarios... who are stalked, raped, bullied or who are fired or discriminated against because of what they bought on Etsy.

That's why I see a future of lawsuits.

for the hell of it said...

@Jay, Kalin may be right about NOT aiming for an IPO. Facebook, another one of Jim Breyer's/Accel's acquisitions, very recently had a major cash infusion. This deal was brokered by Goldman Sachs, to the tune of $500,000,000 to private offshore investors.

And how is it that 2 of Breyer's protogees seem incapable of understanding boundaries?

A relationship has been established. There was also vague comments in Fred Wilson's blog about the west coast VC's selling out to Goldman Sachs.

It's easy enough to keep some tabs on Wilson. He has a Twitter account and a good percentage of his Tweets provide links to his daily blog.

The Funny One said...

Reputation to Etsy = $$$ monthly profit increases, period.

With the numerous new sean11 and other Admin posts in lots of threads, it's obvious that scolding sellers comes first, lying comes second.

On 1 hand, Etsy admits (in print) that they are "collecting" private info including Real Names. On the other Etsy is claiming that it's all "optional."

On 1 foot, Etsy claims that sellers don't have to use the new social features (sean11 even says Etsy is not coercing sellers) but golly sean11, didn't you just post:

"HOW MANY CIRCLES ARE YOU IN?"

What's the Etsy Punishment for NOT using social? Social-Muting? Social-Banning? Social-Just-Closed-Your-Shop?

Since here is no direct link between social and increasing sales, when what is social for?

You got it, Etsy's bottom line (personal data collection/selling it is gold!), ka-ching.

AbsintheDragonfly said...

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-tech/post/ftc-white-house-urge-internet-privacy-measures/2011/03/16/AB8AQoe_blog.html

RRobin said...

I wish people would stop framing the privacy issue as being about porn, sex toys, and drug paraphernalia. I don't buy or use any of those things. But the things I do buy, even if they are the sort of things of which my parents, grandparents, and the National Council of Bishops and Rabbis would approve, are nobody's business.

Ka-Ching said...

Seriously Bitches, no ass kissing intended, you literally seem to be the only SANE voices out there when it comes to the handmade scam Etsy has become.

Those US-centric sheisters at Etsy continue to show contempt for their own membership, you know, the ones making Etsycorp go ka-ching, f-you, ka-ching, suckers, ka-ching.

I'm so over Etsy. They are so 2008.

And yet you, EB's, are so 2011. Keep on bitching.

Spit It Out said...

The best part is how they take privacy seriously. They don't take ANYTHING seriously because they are babies without any linear thought patterns.
The Etsy way to communicate is to use train of consciousness obfuscation and flat-out lying.

If they care about privacy, the staff should stop eavesdropping on private convos (among other litte games they play because they don't have a work ethic).

Sparke said...

Has anyone managed to verify if at least some people who registered *before* real names were an option really do now have their real names visible?

I didn't keep links, but I saw a few comments around the place from people who claimed they had registered for an account and had last used it long before real names came into being, yet they discovered they were findable by their real names via Etsy in spite of that - presumably with the info coming from their transaction/s on the site.

If that's true, then IMO that's the worst thing about all of this incredibly bad stuff.

Whatever the case, the thing I hate most about this whole clusterfuck is the fact that my customers are now subject to it - and most probably without being remotely aware of it. I guess I'm stuck with feeling guilty on Etsy's behalf!

The Funny One said...

Alert: Read anee (Admin) post in this thread:
http://www.etsy.com/teams/7714/ideas/discuss/6816752/page/34

A forum commenter rightly pointed out that one of the so-called Etsy changes in privacy notifications was sent in an "opt-in" email about taking better pictures, so any seller not on that list NEVER got the email.

This is one of the emails that Etsy is claiming was "enough" notification to all sellers and tough shit if you weren't on this small distribution list.

Since Etsy has made no effort to correct their lack of privacy changes notification (even the minimum required by law) there probably won't be any such notification.

The issue remains that Etsy is not setting privacy to OPT OUT -- they have defaulted everyone to OPT IN. You have to go into your Acct to change the settings.

Most important -- do NOT enter a Real Name, even a fake one.

The entire Etsy -social hangs on using Real Names as the nexus of all other data-sharing on and off the site. Real Names have the most sellable value for sites that collect, use and sell this data.

Do not enter a Real Name.

If enough active sellers OPT OUT/SET PRIVATE DO NOT SHARE of all the new Privacy Settings, it will help tank the new social structure--if no one uses these useless tools, then no one can collect and use the data for other purposes, including profits.

Tired of Etsy Antics said...

Ya know, just to throw this out there for folks: what do you think would happen over at Etsy if, say, 1,000 sellers refused to pay their Etsy fees for three months? Do you think they'd respond to that financial "incentive" to actually start LISTENING to their sellers? Do you think we could round up 1,000 sellers who would participate in something like this?

Eveline said...

Rokali in the 2nd article:
"There was an article published on ArsTechnica that made clear how direct the connection was between using your real name on Etsy, buying an item and receiving public feedback for that item," Kalin and Freed wrote. "The reaction to this article has made us realize that we need to change the way our Feedback system works, and this is what we’ve already done today."

THAT is what is pissing people off more than anything. Why did it take outside media to pick the story up in order for Etsy to get their heads out of their arses and do something about it?

Their own users had been complaining, but were ignored. Only when outside media started to talk about it Etsy decided that perhaps it was a good idea to maybe change a few things here and there.

Sickening.

pfft said...

pure unadulterated uneducated transparent SPIN.

TMoore said...

I really don't care as much for the privacy issue as the vicious slander one receives from fellow Etsians for even opening one's mouth. What started as a discussion of shipping labels quickly escalated into slandering me and my books, telling me I had no right to my own trademark (which I made up entirely from whole cloth), and they also proceeded to tell me that I had no right to even sell there. So much for diplomacy. I have already contacted my lawyer about it, and he said it would cost more to sue them than to let them collapse under their own weight. So I think I'll just do that. There is already an article posted on Forbes by someone else questioning the privacy floodgates being opened. I don't have to do anything but point it out.

Moore said...

As follow up to my previous post on this discussion (which was never approved, BTW) I have pulled all 68 of my listed items from Etsy, the banner and anything else of worth, and will leave the account fallow. I have revised my description to "close for business on Etsy" and also removed my bio. The fact is that if I am made to feel so unwelcome on Etsy I don't see the point in staying. I have found another secondary market and from now on will concentrate on marketing my own site instead.

trinlayk said...

It's not really about purchases, if so they could have "fixed" the feedback to JUST not show the item or the link back to the item.

For some of us the fact that we are on ETSY at all, if our real names are shown, is for some of us a huge risk.

Maybe we sell on ETSY, and don't want our day job to know.

Or maybe we've had a stalker who now sees our new city & state with the real name and can now, fairly easily LOOK US UP, and look at our house via google earth and get our unlisted phone number via some of the "public records" sites...

And a large number of those people who don't want to be located, or don't want to been seen using Etsy (even if the purchases are now invisible) under our real names, have NO idea this information is out there.

Maybe it's someone who USED to have a shop, or only bought 1 item 2 years ago... or signed up this october as a buyer only account, to make purchases for Christmas and hasn't been back to the site since.

For a site whose users are predominantly women, (even though this is not solely a women's issue), they are stunningly oblivious to the importance of our safety and privacy.

It's starting to look like Etsy's mission from the BEGINNING was Data mining to sell it to the highest bidder, or to sell out the whole company at some point and enjoy their "golden parachute" no matter the body count.

It's just a matter of time, if it has not happened already, that someone is hurt IN THE REAL WORLD (in Meatspace) because of ETsy's carelessness.

trinlayk said...

What I'm afraid of, is that if we leave the "real name" field blank... that Etsy will conveniently decide that we MUST have MEANT to fill it out.. and then they'll take that information field from Our supposedly so invisible even Etsy can't see it registration file, or from our billing profile and stick in in there.

as a repeat of the "Treasurygate" and they'll then claim it as a glitch, and forget about it.

If I close my account, they can do whatever they want with opt outs re: privacy, and I won't be able to control any of it.

so here I am with all my items moving over to Zibbet, and my Etsy in permanent vacation mode.

Etsy, you've broken my heart in ways I didn't think my heart could ever be broken again. F-U Etsy.

I'm crying like a little girl.

t said...

Much to my amazement I just posted a manifesto of sorts on my FB,
I included a link to this blog

this is the last paragraph:

"Etsy, if any of you admins have been reading this, I believed in your mission statement, you gave me hope when I thought I had lost my inspiration.... You have now broken my trust in you, You've broken my confidence, you've left me adrift... You have broken my heart in a way I thought it could no longer be broken.

Etsy, you fucking suck... (and people who know me will be shocked because, I almost NEVER talk like this)

The Funny One said...

We know, clearly, that Etsy will change the rules of their game in the middle of the play, yet the danger remains because Etsy has not changed ONE SPECK of private data collection, even after all the neg media attention. Why? Because their entire scammy spammy skunky social structure hangs on Real Names. Enter your Real Name and you give away the most valuable piece of online real estate you personally own. Real Names have more monetary value to the site that collects and uses them for data mining within the site as well as for huge profits by selling it. Real Names are attached to everything you do or say on Etsy, and then they inevitably sell that highly valued data, all of your other activity goes with it.

Etsy may claim in print to "have no plans" to sell this data, but please remember that Etsy announced their half-assed flip to social in the SAME breath as they listed the CHANGES to their Privacy Policy to suddenly accomodate this switch ----- with NO warning, with NO implementation date, with NO email to members/sellers and with their default set to OPT IN.

It remains exactly the same today. No change, no privavy protection, no nothing.

Etsy will do it again; they have the history and they put it in print.