“This a major step forward for the privacy rights of Internet users
everywhere, said eBay Senior Director of Communications Kevin Pursglove.
The decision, which was announced Thursday, additionally prohibits
ReverseAuction.com from using software robots or “bots” to harvest eBay
e-mail addresses and sending unsolicited e-mail to eBay users.
eBay filed the lawsuit against ReverseAuction.com, Inc. in January,
of mechanically harvesting the e-mail
addresses, user IDs and feedback ratings of eBay users, and then sending
unsolicited e-mails containing false and misleading information
about the status of their accounts.
Recipients were led to believe that their eBay user IDs would soon
expire, when in fact their
accounts were not jeopardy.
Jay Monahan, eBay’s associate general counsel, intellectual property,
noted that ReverseAuction demonstrated a blatant disregard for the privacy of eBay
“This settlement sends a clear message that eBay will not tolerate
that we will take the necessary steps to protect the privacy of our
community,” he said.
eBay’s lawsuit followed a Federal Trade Commission
action filed the same day against ReverseAuction stemming from the same
Monahan said that a portion of the settlement will be used to fund
new initiatives that will protect user privacy.