Etsy, the popular online market for small scale artisans and crafters, might be on the right track for a future privacy lawsuit following last week’s unveiling of its People Search tool.
In an effort to make the Etsy experience more “social”, the tool allows anyone to search for sellers and buyers by their full names, which are often revealed during the setting up of accounts but were previously not exposed and searchable.
This is not that big of a problem with sellers (indeed, their full names were searchable before this) as it is with buyers, for the simple fact that along with the names, the searching party can now take a peak at the person’s buying history.
If you have been buying jewelry, shoes, furniture or similar stuff, this might not seem like a big problem, but for those who bought some more personal items and are not eager to share that fact with anyone, the fact that these purchases are associated with their names in Google searches will definitely come as a big shock.
After publishing the story, we were contacted by the press manager at Etsy who commented: “We have responded to this issue by making all purchase and feedback on Etsy private by default.” You can read more about the changes in their blog.