eBay has been discovered to scan local ports on visitor’s computer as part of a fraud detection policy and program for all of its website visitors. Security researchers recently discovered this behavior and found that it was done with a third-party, LexisNexis Risk Solutions, who provides the product that performs the scanning.
While eBay’s intention may be good, there are several privacy concerns at stake here.
- eBay is not obtaining explicit consent here. Even if it’s stated in their terms and conditions, this level of pervasive scanning should be done after getting explicit consent.
- The scanning isn’t done only to visitors who are logged in but any visitor who enters the site.
- The scanning looks at open ports within a device, going beyond traditional browser tracking. However, they’re not the only company doing this and, again, it’s to combat fraud.
- There’s no opt-out option.
- Private browsing and incognito mode don’t make a difference here, eBay will still scan ports.
- The scanning is facilitated by a third-party which may make some uneasy.
On the other hand however, this kind of scanning is understandable, given the risk eBay faces from criminals and scammers who may be leveraging eBay as a platform for their own wrongdoings. The scanning itself isn’t inherently bad either, we just think they shouldn’t hide what they’re doing.
Overall, what’s more important is that you’re aware, not that eBay is performing some nefarious form of tracking – they aren’t.
But if you do want to block this level of scanning, researchers suggests using Brave or installing uBlock Origin on Firefox or Chrome.
For more details, visit Forbes