Download the 2019 Trade Me Transparency Report here.
We’re committed to being transparent and honest, but equally we have our members’ backs. Our Trust & Safety team work hard to only release relevant and necessary information when it’s legally requested of us.
Why we release
Summary of enquiries
New Zealand Police
We work with the New Zealand Police to keep our site trusted and safe. Police help us ensure dodgy sellers are held accountable. Where appropriate, we are also happy to help them with their investigations to keep our communities safe.
Police subject matter
We have been pleased to see police enquiries on stolen goods were down 43% on the year prior, enquiries relating to drugs were down 49% and non-deliveries fell 33%. Stolen goods and dodgy sellers are not welcome on Trade Me, so it is good to see this reflected in our numbers.
Police push backs
We will only release member data to the Police when they send in a legal request and we are satisfied that the request is reasonable and appropriate.
The majority of the time these releases are made under the Privacy Act. If a request doesn’t sit well with us, or doesn’t meet all our criteria, we will push back for a refined request or for more information.
If it still isn’t quite right, we won’t release.
We have some pretty sophisticated tools to ensure the baddies are kept away. This helps us to protect our community from sellers like this one:
Government agency enquiries
Some are up, some are down. No news is good news, right?
Government agency push backs
Just like police requests, we only release member data to a government agency (or their enforcement agencies) if we receive a legal request and are satisfied the request is reasonable and appropriate.
From 1 October 2018 dog tail docking and dew claw removal became illegal under new animal welfare regulations, unless under very specific circumstances.
For breeders of particular dog breeds, this practice is historically entrenched and a habit, so some do not even realise the harm it causes.
From our experience this practice is more from ignorance than an intention to break the law. Unfortunately a few of our members didn’t receive the memo, like the one below.
Consented insurance releases
The graph below shows consented releases we’ve made to insurance investigators. We require investigators to get our members to sign a Trade Me privacy waiver. This makes it easy for us to ensure the request is reasonable, focused and consented to.
In these cases, the investigator will come to Trade Me with a privacy waiver signed by whoever is making the insurance claim. The waiver specifies what information the person consents to us releasing.
The number of trades that end up in the Disputes Tribunal is small and the number continues to get smaller. It is clear that our Trust and Safety Disputes Team and our Buyer Protection Policy has done a great job in helping to resolve disputes before they reach critical point.
We will only release relevant information about a trade if a member provides us with a completed statutory declaration witnessed by a Court Registrar and only if the information is necessary for those proceedings.
Access to your information
You are welcome to request the data a company holds about you at any time.
To get the information Trade Me holds about you, email us with a request under Principle 6 of the Privacy Act.
There are all sorts of reasons why we might push back on your request to see your own information. We will ask for some ID to make sure we don’t release your information to someone else, we will also ask for a tailored request for what information you’re actually looking for.
This helps us avoid privacy breaches and to reply to everyone within a reasonable amount of time. Sometimes we come across people asking for all the information we hold about them, then abandon the request when we ask for more details. These cases show up as a ‘push back’ in this section.
Push backs also include requests for information about other members. If you request information from us that will include another member’s data, then we will not release it under Principle 6 of the Privacy Act.
Deletion of your information
You can request a company deletes your personal information under Principle 9 of the Privacy Act. We often need to hold on to your information, which will mean your deletion request might be declined.
In most cases there are legal obligations which prevent us from being able to permanently delete a Trade Me account. For example, under the Financial Transactions Reporting Act, the Tax Administration Act and the Secondhand Dealers and Pawnbrokers Act, we are legally required to retain various records for a period of time.
We also have our own trust and safety reasons for requiring memberships to remain closed but not deleted. Trade Me has to retain details of our own agreements with members who have registered with us and accepted our terms and conditions.
Frequently asked questions
What is an ‘enquiry’?
An enquiry could be:
– an information request where an agency has sought information about a membership (e.g. contact information or sales data),
– information that a listing may be in breach of the law (or our terms and conditions),
– highlighting an issue with a member which is then taken care of by us,
– a request to pass on a message directly to members,
– a request from an individual who needs information that Trade Me holds for Court
or Tribunal proceedings.
How safe is member data?
Very safe! We follow industry best practice methods to keep data safe. However, we are constantly working on ways to make it even safer.
Does Trade Me need members’ permission to release information?
When joining Trade Me, we advise members via our terms and conditions that we release account and other personal information when we believe the release is appropriate to comply with the law, facilitate court proceedings, enforce or apply our terms and conditions, or protect the rights, property, or safety of our business, our users, or others.
How do I access my own data?
This privacy provides members with a list of the type of information we might hold about them, and how to best get in touch with us to