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Internet Marketing Privacy Issues Essay

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If a random person came over to you on the street, would you give him your personal information? Would you allow him to follow and record your activities? Most certainly not. Although this answer may be obvious in the physical world, the general populations’ behavior on the Internet is strikingly different. Websites like Facebook, Twitter, and Google retain vast amounts of personal information of their users. Although this practice benefits the user as well, unrestricted profiling can be quite unnerving. Since regulation from the government may impede Internet use, and unless the threat to internet users privacy are shown to exceed the benefits, the government will not regulate the internet, rather we should educate the public how to be more responsible themselves.
The most lucrative business on the Internet is marketing. Companies have come up with ingenious ways to generate revenue with very targeted advertising. Each company has their unique method to identify their consumers, some more complicated than others. For example, on a website geared to new mothers the advertisements would reflect that by advertising for baby diapers or formula. This type of targeted advertising is understood and acceptable. The consumer benefits by having advertisements in their interests and the vendor has a higher likelihood of making a sale. The Internet has introduced novel ways to track consumer habits and interests thereby creating smarter advertising. Microsoft employs their browser Internet Explorer using “cookies” to track user habits. Cookies are pieces of text stored by a user’s web browser, they are sent back and forth every time a user accesses a web page. These can be tracked to follow web surfers’ actions. Cookies are used to store...


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...egulation may not be a solution, history has proven that the power to resolve this glowing lack of privacy lies within the hands of the people themselves. The manner in which similar issues were resolved in the past, elucidate on the present. The now famous company Truste created the Web Privacy Seal, the little icon that tells you the website is secure. Ten years ago users were to afraid to buy anything in the internet with their credit cards for fear of identity theft, now one can just look for that seal. As mentioned before Facebook’s privacy changes prompted 2.2 million Facebook members to form a group protesting these changes. Consumers are recognizing the threat to their control and in the same way in the past have come up with ingenious ways to protect themselves they will continue to stand up for their rights that will ultimately affect company policies.



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