Monday, March 14, 2011

How to protect your privacy on Etsy

Ok folks, you have some more opting out to worry about. Etsy is publishing members' real names and associating them with their purchase history and email addresses/Facebook accounts!

Here's how to get those purchases unassociated with you:

  1. Log in to Etsy (you'll have to do this for each store you have)
  2. Click "Settings" on the left top sidebar
  3. Choose the "Privacy" tab
  4. You have three decisions to make (who can see your favorites, who can see your purchases, and can people search for your email). Be sure to click the update button on the bottom.
  • To change your 'real name' on file, click "Profile" in the left sidebar while logged in to your account.

In order to clean up your shop profile further, scroll all the way to the bottom of that same Profile information page. Here's where you can get rid of the Treasury lists and Teams from your shop profile and verify that the options for favorites are not there (greyed out due to inactivation).

Now this won't solve Etsy's "oops" moments with names, but at least you can cover your ass a little bit.


getsyworsebythehour said...

yes, that fixes part of the problem, but unfortunately a person's identity and purchases are still accessible via the shop's feedback section and if you have any etsy links on your Facebook page, your privacy is non-existent.
It's all very incestuous really - that is why our Facebook pages and links are not working correctly from our etsy shop.

The feedback section shows each transaction as a buyer and a shop owner, and while you can make your purchases private, you cannot make your customers private, and that is where some unethical persons have been harvesting buyers for their circles.
Etsy is also mining information from your Facebook page if you have any links on there from your etsy store or Treasury.
Not only is your e-mail address book exposed, but now your Facebook info as well.
They forgot to inform the sellers of that little tidbit of news...

Anonymous said...

Odd, but I never actually gave Etsy my real name. My shop is one of the first 200, so perhaps back then they didn't require it?

Marilyn said...

News article just went up:

Melissa said...

Charming. As a result of their latest a$$hattery, I've decided to not only cease selling, I'm entirely deleting my account.

Funny, even though I have never had a single report or outstanding bill, I don't seem to have access to the "Close Account" button, which according to their oh so helpful Help section ONLY happens if you have something outstanding.

Let's see how long this takes to get resolved!

for the hell of it said...

This topic is gaining steam. Auction Bytes is covering it in BLOG form, thus allowing for comments.

There's another article with comment ops that can be found here:

:) Loved the choice for my security word. It was just too, apropo!

Violets new Vintage said...

I was with a friend when he was setting up a buyers account on Etsy and as he typed in the first letter of his name, a drop down appeared and showed THE FULL NAME OF ANOTHER PERSON. Isn't that weird? Buyers on Etsy need to be aware of privacy issues but I don't see how they will get the real info they need.

InterestedParty said...

Interesting link, other sites are picking up on this. Check out the comments, Rob Kalin is available if you're important and saying something bad about Etsy. If you're a seller on Etsy, you're out of luck:

iamsoangry said...

Pure and simple Sean11 should be fired. Tonight. Privacy should be restored. Tonight.

bibliogrrl said...

I had to switch browsers to do it, because for whatever reason the submit button was greyed out in Firefox. Worked like a charm in Chrome.

The Righteous One said...

We've been getting Anonymous comments saying we're covering it wrong because it's the feedback history that's public, not purchases.

Hey dumbasses...a) we don't publish Anonymous comments (usually) b) look in your account settings, it says Purchases! and c) Feedback has always been public, though not necessarily published to Google for the world to find

This might be a ruse by Etsy to count the clicks in feedback screens for ranking/monthly visit weather reports.

The Funny One said...

Rokali just confirmed your comment The Righteous One with this minor change to sharing feedback:
which is as good as (despite his bullshit language) admitting that yes, Etsy fed it to Google to increase clicks = page rank.

All of the latest anti-privacy settings are aimed to increase total page clicks, which is why the Privacy Settings are spread amongst 3 difference sections of your Account.

What the hell is Etsy doing with this information?

BuhByeEtsy said...

Is it too early to call this SNAFU "Dildo Gate" ?

This is such utter bullshit, I hope Etsy gets sued and Rokali goes to jail....

getsy worse by the hour said...

So, 'Righteous One' you are now calling commenters 'dumbasses'? As was stated, purchases can be made private, but not buyers purchases from your store. Thus, the circle harvesting.
Such vicious name calliing! That's not very nice, considering you were provided with the information on public Feedback data and Facebook's links for clicks, and now I see this has been admittedly confirmed by etsy's own people in your comments.
Also, check your history, you DO publish comments by Anonymous posters- sometimes several per post.
Your blog passes itself off as a place to vent about etsy's abuses, in a supposed adult setting.
I thought Etsy was the only place you could get censored and verbally abused.

Anonymous said...

You still don't get it. Yes, the text says hide purchases, but that is in the context of feedback. If neither the buyer, nor the seller leaves feedback on a purchase, then it won't be seen anywhere regardless of your privacy setting. However, if either party leaves feedback, then the privacy setting applies and your account will not be associated with the feedback when it comes up in the search. Jesus, is it so hard to read?

sark said...

*head desk*
*head desk*
*head desk*

Those who don't learn history are doomed to repeat it, right? So, was the Beacon thing not in the Facebook movie? That's why they couldn't have possibly known that, right?

Because Etsy has to be one big giant fucking phone book, right? Except just like in the old days, you have to jump through hoops to get an unlisted number.

I'm a seller, I use my real name. Mind you, I don't buy dildos or fetishistic sex toys... so, personally, I'm not particularly bothered about being "found."

Although, on a snarky note - if my fucking products were found through google on etsy - you know, that would be useful.

However, I'm a SELLER. Yes, I do actually sell shit.

Buyers on the other hand - should have to opt in to this feature instead of the automatic assumption being that they expect no privacy. In other words, buyers should have a choice — ALWAYS.

What saddens and annoys me is that in every step in whatever direction of implementing a new doo-hickey - Etsy always manages to fuck up something in some colossal fashion.

I only wish I didn't wonder why that was.

Even the "peck of the day" chicken probably couldn't have fucked this up.
*head desk*

I think I need to get a plush desk, this is getting painful.

LVGJ said...

wow - etsy wants to be Facebook so badly they're even f-king up with privacy issues like they did/do

The Righteous One said...

I let an anonymous comment through so I could respond to it directly

hey Etsy jackass (oh yeah, I saw your identical comment at Ars signed as an Etsy employee!) - you fuckwits put "purchases" as the text, if you meant feedback, it should read "feedback!! Who can't read, me or you?!

As much as we know the actual purchase history will be the next thing you jackwagons make available.

Plus, what seller DOESN'T leave feedback when you a-holes flash that "you have feedback to leave" message at a seller desperate to bring in buyers, hopefully by enticing a buyer to leave good feedback, then poof, that buyer's purchase is going to be available for searching on Google with only a couple of gaps.

Really Etsy? We ask to make feedback private for 5 years and THIS is what you give us?!


The Righteous One said...

getsy, you haven't been around our blog much have you? Yes, we curse and call Etsy staff names (that's who the Anon comment I referred to was, I wasn't calling the commenters dumbass, I was referring to a particular commenter who can't read)

And actually we say we don't publish Anon comments right above the comment box, but depending on how you view comments, someone who types in a name may appear as "anonymous" though we saw the name that was typed in when moderating comments for spam. Also, sometimes we're in a hurry and don't check the names...whatcha gonna do

for the hell of it. said...

:) Well, it sseems like the "ars" posting has piqued the interest of Tom Brokaw.

Here are the links so far, that someone found within an Etsy thread:

Sean has been sent in and also questioned and challenged by Brokaw. I think we should all do what we can to help out the nasty practices of Etsy. Let them attempt to scam their way out of this.

The "ars" article has begun to drop in that site's popularity. "WE" need to keep the popularity of this public outing, ongoing. Etsy needs to be put in their place.

goatling said...


goatling said...

And it made Penny Arcade!

Stifler's Mom said...

I'm so glad I bailed out of that clusterfuck before this happened. Coralgate was the last straw for me - that made it so obvious that the Etsy staff are idiots as well as hypocrites.

I am now actively telling people who ask where I sell my items that they should NOT go to Etsy because of the privacy issues and info harvesting.

anotherEtsySeller said...

I'm willing to bet Tom Brokaw isn't THE Tom Brokaw.

Most realize you can make up names on the internet without providing proof of your actual identity--hence twitter has verified IDs.

The Funny One said...

This proves that Etsy never reads the forums. It's only from outside pressure that they finally pay some attention, too late, and the fix will stink too.

Who the hell is in charge? Well, get off your ass and put an immediate STOP to all the blather and false info Admins are posting hourly on your forums and elsewhere.

It's so obvious you don't even check out what your own paid people do ===== in public, and in print!

Wolf said...

20+ articles and blog posts(list in my blog) about this latest fiasco. The damage is done. Sellers will never recover from this thank to what Etsy has done.

Tired of Fools said...

What scares the hell out of me is that even when you close your account, Etsy retains ALL your information. I have one question:


Actually, I know why and I sincerely hope Etsy gets it's plushie ass sued to hell and back!!!

trinlayk said...

here it is 4 months later, and finally one of the privacy threads on Ideas got an answer from someone in admin. Not a complete answer, just the usual sort of half assed thing. Still no promise that they won't change their mind about real names being optional.

4 months later there's never been an email to ALL USERS that their real names may be public and their account searchable. (Including Buyer only accounts, who are unlikely to check the forums, unlikely to sign up for ETSY finds, and may only log into Etsy a couple times a year to buy gifts..._

and that's still being completely ignored by admin.

...and the rumor mill churns on...