Yahoo!, eBay scuttle sale of list

The sites shut down auctions for a mailing list of 200,000 U.S. investors, citing concerns over personal privacy.

eBay Inc. and Yahoo! Inc. shut down auctions for a mailing list of 200,000 U.S. investors, citing concerns that personal information about people on the roster could be disclosed.

Market Logistics Group Inc., a direct-marketing company that caters to small-capitalization, publicly held companies, solicited bids on both Yahoo!'s and eBay's Web sites last week for an investor mailing list that included names, addresses and telephone numbers.

The incident comes at a time when consumers have become more vocal about how personal data is used.

The controversy surrounding Internet privacy picked up earlier this year when DoubleClick Inc. (dclk) proposed offering a database combining information about Web-site visitors with their online-surfing habits.

Rich Godwin, brand manager for Yahoo! (yhoo) auctions, said the Santa Clara, Calif., company removed the auction listing because it violated Yahoo!'s terms of service by offering to sell personal data.

He also said the listing technically wasn't an auction but rather an invitation to purchase an item in infinite quantity from Market Logistics' Web site.

eBay (ebay) spokesman Kevin Pursglove said the San Jose, Calif., company doesn't allow the sale of bulk e-mail lists through its service and is sensitive to the privacy concerns of its users.

Market Logistics didn't return calls.


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