Recently my account was limited by paypal while I was traveling. when I called them, they told me that I was limited because I tried to access my account from abroad and that I needed to email them before leaving!
Is this true at all? I'm new to paypal so it sounds very odd to me.
And isn't this a violation of privacy in the name of security?
I know this doesn't directly answer your question, however if you setup a VPN that you can connect through and then PayPal won't see where you are connecting from, if you route all traffic through the VPN.
I am traveling between germany/turkey and never had a problem. Probably not in the high risk category.
I have heard similar stories earlier. The risk of getting your account blocked/limited becomes much more pronounced if you're accessing it from a "high-risk" country (as they mention in their lingo.) [Now don't ask me "what if I am using the IP of the high risk country to access the account" while sitting in my own country.]
Moreover with PayPal it's always good to be safe than sorry. They are kindaa notorious - (debatable term) - for banning/limiting accounts.
Check this article on PayPal I wrote sometime back 17 points every PayPal account holder should know
I have employees who travel between the US and Mexico who are required to login to our Paypal account to do their jobs. They get blocked periodically. Sometimes it is because they are using an aircard or public WIFI. For some IP addresses in Mexico there are so many hackers that the public WIFI option is impossible, Paypal will not release the block. Generally speaking we get around it just fine and a phone call or an email gets quick response from Paypal.
Regarding the privacy vs. security question, count on Paypal to put security first. The privacy loss seems minimal (unless you are some kind of underworld spy and don't want them to know you are in Tunisia... ;)