Both eBay and PayPal are about to get really annoying — and the government isn’t sure that it’s legal.
New York law enforcement officials have written to eBay and PayPal this week, saying the companies’ revised user policies “raise issues” under consumer protection laws.
The updated user agreements would allow the e-commerce company and the payments division it is spinning off to contact users by phone for offers and promotions, to collect a debt, or to poll their opinions through surveys and questionnaires.
Ebay’s updated user agreement is scheduled to take effect on Monday and PayPal’s will become effective on July 1.
“Consumer choice and privacy preferences are protected by state and federal laws — including laws that specifically aim to stop companies from using invasive robocalls to promote products to consumers who do not wish to receive them,” Melissa Grace, a spokeswoman for New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said.
The letters, written by Kathleen McGee, chief of the attorney general’s Internet Bureau, said the only way for users to opt out of the possibility of marketing calls or text messages was to stop using the auction site or payment processor entirely.
Currently, if PayPal has your phone number, there’s no way to revoke it. If you want to add your number or change it, you’ll see this message:
A representative of PayPal told Reuters the company had received the letter of inquiry and would respond to it, adding that PayPal customers could choose not to receive autodialed or prerecorded message calls.
EBay did not immediately respond to requests for comments outside regular U.S. business hours.
(Reuters reporting by Mansi Goenka in Bengaluru; Editing by Anupama Dwivedi)
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