Ethics of Collecting and Using Consumer Internet Data.

A wealth of information concerning a consumer's internet use and preferences can, with relative ease, be gathered and disseminated. Sometimes, a consumer may willingly give personal information to enhance the browsing experience at a favorite Web site. Other times, Internet monitoring programs may be surreptitiously gathering this information so it can be used to commit identify theft. In another instance, information willingly given to one site is sold to a third party that uses it to promote its own Web services. The ethics of these first two scenarios is clear; the first is good and the second is bad. The third, however, is not so clear. The consumer may feel that private information has been violated while industry may feel it is doing good by better serving the consumer. These are just a small sampling of the range of ethical situations data collection on the Internet creates. This article identifies the ways Internet information about consumers is collected and examines the ethical issues created by the collection process and its consequences.

Main Author: Sipior, Janice C.
Other Authors: Ward, Burke T., Rongione, Nicholas M.
Format: Villanova Faculty Authorship
Language: English
Published: 2004
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