eBay to scrap passwords for all users

By Chris Dawson May 17, 2018 - 11:57 am

eBay have expressed a desire to move to a site with no passwords. Don’t worry, this isn’t going to happen today or even tomorrow, but at some point users will no longer have to remember passwords to access any of the features of the eBay site.

“eBay Identity has taken an ambitious goal of killing passwords for eBay users once for all. However, killing passwords is not a trivial task, as users have been using passwords as a primary authentication mechanism to access e-commerce and financial websites over the past 20+ years.”
– Ashok Balasubramanian, eBay Member of Technical Staff

eBay Identity’s core strategy is “Seamless when possible, friction when needed.” As part of the move away from passwords, eBay already support Google Sign-In for Android and enabled Touch ID and Face ID on devices that supported them as soon as they were launched. eBay also open sourced “Universal Authentication Framework (UAF),” a component mainly focused on password-free authentication working with FIDO Alliance.

Ashok Balasubramanian, an eBay Member of Technical staff, acknowledges that progress is slower than eBay would ideally like as they’re dealing with Service Oriented Architecture technology constructed over a decade ago. First task was to create a new user on-boarding service, using latest coding standards, that can facilitate seamless on-boarding of customers to eBay.

“Given that the new state-of-the-art on-boarding system gives us the ability to run, now it’s time to spread our wings and fly. Social sign up is the next big step in the on-boarding experience charter. Social sign up focuses on delegating authentication to social websites. Another big stride in account management would be the ability to handle sub-accounts. A clear separation between an account and a login provides many opportunities to explore.”
– Ashok Balasubramanian, eBay Member of Technical Staff

What would your favoured eBay log in authentication be? Would it be that your device (mobile, laptop, tablet) is a known device, a social media login, biometrics such as Fingerprint or TouchID, or are you happy with good old fashioned passwords that can be forgotten, mis-typed and hacked?

  • james
    1 year ago

    eBay really are not the people to take this forward. sit down and leave it to someone that knows what they’re doing.

    I’m not aware of any other site in the world that requires you to sign in again every hour or so, or every time you make a change, or randomly timeouts, or makes you sign in to various foreign sites whenever you speak to a foreigner.

    “users have been using passwords as a primary authentication mechanism… for the past 20+ years.”
    – Yes, and ebay STILL haven’t managed to do that well! what chance do you have of engineering their replacement?

    “Social sign up focuses on delegating authentication to social websites.”
    – ahhhh, that sounds more like ebay. how can we make this someone else’s problem while still taking credit for it?
    between facebook and ebay’s moralities regarding privacy, i don’t think anyone wants the two of them in cahoots with direct access to your purchase and search history, do they?

    I don’t know what the replacement for passwords will be, but i do know that ebay won’t be the ones to bring it about.

    • Dm
      1 year ago

      James, the team eBay will have to manage there system and, create this new login system will be far more intelligent than you, they will easy be able to create this system as many sites already use it.

      Many sites offer users options to login with Google, Facebook, or others . This does not require a password for that original site, just the linking site. All that eBay will do is ask users to link to one of these sites to allow for login. They could easily do this and it would be the same as it currently is, none of your info will be needed to be shared for this to work.

      Also every single banking website will require you to keep active or re login ever 20 mins, and site that cares about security should do this, your phone will lock after a few minutes of not being used.

      Do you have any idea how cyber security works??

  • James
    1 year ago

    I think they would be better off lowering over priced fees.

    • alan paterson
      1 year ago

      @ James, have you EVER anything positive to say about ebay. every initiative, every change they make you can guarantee you will be in there trashing the platform and twisting every topic towards fees.

      Thats not what this thread is about.

      And the reason they ask for regular logins is about security. A friend of mine left her (other platform) “login” open in a library computer – you would be thanking ebay for logging you out. Security is not important to you? it is to me. Thats why these things are in place.

      You are so incredibly bitter about the site why do you sell on it?

      I welcome any change that makes the platform easier without sacrificing security. ebay are constantly coming up with new initiatives. many of them work. Its just typical that they are being trashed AGAIN for a new initiative that has nothing but positive intentions ……. and hasn’t even been introduced yet. It sums up the shocking attitude of some sellers towards the platform.

    • Chocaholic
      1 year ago

      @ Alan Paterson, is it any wonder that people get bitter towards eBay? I find it amazing that you can’t see why. Ebay’s attitude towards it’s sellers it absolutely appalling. It treats them worse than you would something you trod in on the street, and it gets worse every year. I have given up selling on ebay because it is no longer a safe place to sell, and the biggest villians are ebay themselves. They cant seem to grasp the fundamental idea that sellers are ebay’s customers and that buyers are the customers of the sellers. They take away all the rights of sellers to make choices in the decision making process that someone would have when running their own business. They expect sellers to do all the running, providing goods to sell, honouring warranties, dealing with deliveries, while they tell you what, when, and how you can sell, and they cream off most of the profits with high fees. Then you have the constant threat of being banned for some minor infringement of their draconian rules and having your livelihood curtailed. And you wonder why people get bitter? James is probably fed up with being treated like a turd but has all his eggs in eBay’s basket and hasn’t found a way yet to make a living beyond eBay’s clutches. I only buy-on eBay now, but even that is getting less because the amount of choice is getting less and there are better places to shop. I live in hope that eBay will change into something decent but I think my hope is in vain.

    • james
      1 year ago


      first of all i’ve told you before simply not to address me on here, you’re narrow-minded, abusive, childish, don’t understand basic logic and reason, and EVERY single time resort to name calling, then accuse whoever you called a name of bullying you when it gets sent back. Your opinions mean absolutely nothing to me.

      Secondly, Yes, on the rare occasions when ebay do something worth praising, i do praise it. it’s not common because almost everything ebay announce is to the detriment of sellers, patently false, or absolute tosh like this. Generally you’re the only one defending them when they do such stuff.

      if your friend left herself logged in on a library computer, that’s your friend’s problem, we don’t need moron-level logins to satisfy people that go leaving themselves logged into sites containing their bank info on public computers, that’s grade-A level stupid right there. like blaming your car manufacturer because you left your keys on the sunroof and it got stolen. Keys have been around for a long time, they work just fine unless you’re stupid enough to leave them on the roof.

      “Security is not important to you? it is to me.”
      Yes, security is important to me. If it were important to you, perhaps you might care about the competence of the people engineering the replacement for passwords? have ebay demonstrated to you they are competent enough to do such a thing, when as i pointed out, they can’t even do a decent job at passwords, which have been mastered for decades now? (forget i asked, that’s a question for a rational person not an ebay fanatic).

      I also care about privacy, i’m sure you’ll love for ebay to hand over all your purchase and sales history to cambridge analytica & co in exchange for you not having to remember a password, and for ebay to have access to everything you post on social media.

      we get it, you love ebay, ebay do no wrong in alan’s eyes. ebay could set your house on fire and you’d thank them for it. i’m so bored of hearing it from you i just skip right over every single thing you post on here. please, do the same with mine, will ya?

  • 1 year ago

    some are also a tad Sycophantic

  • red
    1 year ago

    Have to love a post that goes into great length to disect another contributors content then closes by saying how the author ignores all posts by the person they’ve just replied to at length.

    It’s the sort of hypocrisy that made eBay’s colosseum THE place to spend a Friday night a decade ago.

  • Elisha
    1 year ago

    Just a point when the socia media gets hacked and not all businesses want to link in this way.

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