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Glitch Lets Users Access Personal Data

August 10, 2000|Edmund Sanders

A "freak technical" glitch at EBay Inc.'s online payment unit, Billpoint Inc., allowed some users to temporarily access personal information--including credit card numbers--about other Billpoint customers, officials said. The San Jose company estimates that fewer than a dozen Billpoint users were affected by the problem, which they said they first noticed in mid-June. "We had a very weird situation with Billpoint's registration server, but we changed it right away and have not received any recent reports," said Paula Kramer, director of payment operations at Billpoint. But as late as this month, at least one Billpoint customer was still complaining about having access to account information of another user. The glitch occurred when Billpoint's servers inadvertently assigned the same identification numbers to different users. Billpoint, a joint venture between EBay and Wells Fargo & Co., is one of the nation's largest person-to-person payment systems, allowing consumers to pay one another via credit cards.

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