MISC. 20


eBay’s User Agreement and Privacy Policy are middle of the road on most of the issues surveyed. You should be aware that you grant eBay an extremely broad license to any content that you post on the site. eBay can also share your data with third parties in a number of circumstances.

Data Use

When you post something on eBay, you grant the company an extremely broad license to your content. eBay can use your content “in any media known now or in the future” and can sublicense it to third parties. Many of the other companies surveyed also have very broad data use provisions. But at the very least, we would like to see eBay take Google’s approach and limit itself to using data for purposes related to the services that it provides. The current ToS would allow eBay to use your data for any purpose whatsoever.

SCORE: 12 / 25
  • eBay can do pretty much anything it wants with content you submit

Data Disclosure

eBay’s Privacy Policy allows your information to be shared with third parties in a multitude of different cases. Some of these are unobjectionable, such as disclosure to government agencies in response to a verified request. Others are problematic. For example, disclosure is permitted to “protect anyone’s rights, property, or safety”, which is unnecessarily broad. eBay may also share your personal information with “members of the eBay Inc. corporate family”, which includes PayPal and Overall, eBay has more latitude for disclosure to third parties than most of the other companies surveyed.

SCORE: 15 / 25
  • eBay can share your data with third parties

Amendment & Termination


eBay can amend its User Agreement at any time; the revised terms become effective 30 days after they are posted on the site. eBay commits to notifying you through the eBay Message Center of the changes.


Many of the sites we’ve surveyed have unrestricted termination rights, allowing them to close your account at any time and for any reason. We were pleased to note that eBay limits its right to terminate to certain specified events, such as “creating problems or possible legal liabilities, infringing the intellectual property rights of third parties, or acting inconsistently with the letter or spirit of our policies”. “Creating problems” is too broad, but this is a step in the right direction.

SCORE: 15 / 25
  • eBay will notify you of changes to the terms
  • There are some limitations as to when eBay can cancel your account


eBay has a number of other policies that are incorporated into its User Agreement. This includes matters such as intellectual property, buyer protection, and prohibited and restricted items. Users should familiarize themselves with any policies that may apply to them. However, we did not find any surprising or concerning provisions.

SCORE: 20 / 25