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Verisign To ID New Ebay Sellers, Auction Domain Names

by Steven Bonisteel

Individuals signing up to sell merchandise on Ebay [NASDAQ:EBAY] will soon have to prove to e-commerce security company Verisign [NASDAQ:VRSN] that they really are who they say they are. In a "multi-year services and marketing alliance" announced by the two companies today, Ebay will use Verisign's Authentication Service Bureau (ASB) to identify Ebay sellers during the registration process on its site.

Verisign says its ASB allows companies to outsource the task of validating individuals' identities and can also issue digital certificates that can be used to confirm those IDs.

"As both the volume and value of goods sold over the Internet continues to grow, it becomes even more critical for users to feel a sense of trust in their online transactions," Anil Pereira, who heads Verisign's enterprise and service provider division, said in a prepared statement.

"Validating the identity of sellers on Ebay provides added comfort for site members and lays the foundation for both higher value transactions as well as new service offerings to proliferate," she said.

The system, which is expected to launch in June, could help Ebay spot fraudsters as they sign up if the information they provide doesn't match data Verisign collects in its directory databases.

As part of the companies' alliance, Verisign also made an official announcement of its recently launched auctions of Internet domain names.

The company has already posted an assortment of potentially attractive addresses under the "dot-bz" country-code domain space it markets on behalf of Belize, but so far there have been few bids.

Information on the domain auctions can be found here: http://members.ebay.com/aboutme/verisign/ .


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