While eBay is not trying to save the planet (here) they are trying to stop the increase of Phishing on its site.

eBay has announced that it will be rolling out a private messaging service to customers to make it easier to determine whether or not the announcement is official.

The service which is to be called My Messages offers a read only inbox for logged in users similar to most online stock trading accounts.

A statement on eBay.com's announcement page says:

ìMy Messages is a place for you to receive secure, relevant messages directly from eBay. eBay will use My Messages to keep you updated with useful information about buying, selling, and other activities and events on eBay. In coming phases, we will also use My Messages to alert you to important information about your account.î

The statement goes on to say:

ìAt launch in December 2004, My Messages will be a read-only inbox where you can be assured that ALL messages received come directly from eBay. (No third parties can send messages to My Messages.) The first messages to appear will contain useful information and keep you informed about events on eBay. You can delete messages, or they can be kept for up to 60 days.

My Messages will be packed with new features, such as:My Messages reminders on the My Summary page for unread messages, unresolved alerts, and user-flagged messages,Message reminders in the At A Glance modules on the Home Page, Sell Hub, and Buy Hub, Customization of the My Messages inbox view, Full views and printer-friendly views of messages and alerts.î

My Messages was launched in the US late last month and is planned to be rolled out to the UK later this quarter.