Shopping site tweaks privacy-busting feature

Deal site 1Day has dropped a controversial feature that publicly revealed first names of buyers, and what they bought, on an interactive graphic.

The "watch people shop live" feature was roasted by one-time Trade Me advisor Lance Wiggs earlier this week, with Tech Liberty blogger Thomas Beagle also picking up the cause.

1Day "general lackey" Nerroly Hay told NBR this morning:

"The creation of ‘watch people shop live’ is a concept that given the response, is an addictive past-time.

"We were very mindful of our customer’s privacy at the time of launch but as a direct result to comments on Lance’s site, we are immediately taking action and giving our customers the option to opt in under an alias name."

In his Tuesday post, Mr Wiggs called the feature "completely unacceptable":

"It may be fine to show John from Waikato, or Tim from Auckland, but I suspect there is not more than one Kanwalpreet in Upper Hutt. That person has purchased something and had that information broadcast to the world, which, and I write without even looking at it, is clearly in breach of the Privacy Act."

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4 Comments & Questions

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So, when are they going to add this alias feature?

I just had a look at the site and "Watch People Shop" is still going and there appears to be no way to add an alias when signing up for an account or proceeding through checkout without one.

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Just spoke to 1-Day support. They are unaware of any alias feature, but suggest entering your initials rather than your first name.

The site is continuing to publish live customer data.

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Judging by peoples reactions online. People still don't feel ok about this feature, numerous complaints have been met with nothing but silence by 1-day. Addictive marketing gimmick or not, it screams of incompetence in that ignores the rights of the sites users and blatantly oversteps a basic right to feel secure. Considering the popularity of this site, this step and only makes it clear they do not take the rights of their users seriously. Quite remarkable, really, for the amount of personal information, including credit card details, that this site holds. If I were a user, I'd delete my account immediately.

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1-Day have now added a "Make my purchase public" checkbox to the order process.

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