With the web constantly evolving, it is no surprise that the way in which people can share their information online has become easier through the likes of different social networking sites (SNS) like Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat. Most of us use these platforms to connect with our friends and colleagues, however at the same time this same information is being used by businesses to learn more about our preferences and daily life.
How would you feel if you knew you were being tracked without your consent? Violated, right? Patricia shared a video (Reveal, 2017) on Twitter, which can be seen below, that I found shockingly scary.
Ethics has been defined as the ‘moral principles that govern a person’s behaviour or the conducting of an activity’ (Oxford Dictionary, 2017). Having watched the above video, do you consider what businesses are doing ethical?
There are many reasons as to why businesses use social media which will be detailed in the self-produced infographic below.
In topic 2, I discussed how our digital footprints and online activities have been scattered all over the internet which in turn make up our digital identity. Therefore, due to the scope and speed of social media, it has become an effective medium through which companies market themselves and their products/services. How are they doing this, you may ask? By using Cookies.
Cookies are small pieces of data which are stored on a user’s computer. The cookie allows the website to ‘remember’ your actions or preferences over time (European Commission, 2017). They are the most common method of identifying and tracking online consumer activity, yet have been widely criticised as being a potential threat to consumer privacy (Miyazaki, 2008).
In this digital age, we have been accustomed to target advertising which is due to the fact that cookies are aiding businesses to target their market through the data they collect via third-party cookies. Furthermore, one of the more controversial topics surrounding cookies is that airlines increase their prices by using them. This article (Collinson, 2017) offers a personal experience of this happening to someone.
Online privacy continues to be a point of concern for many. Although many websites now inform users that cookies are being used (example seen below), the issue of users’ personal information being distributed during their browsing experience, still remains at the heart of controversy.
At the same time, most browsers have settings, which allow you to establish your preferences for cookies, allowing you to delete or block them from your computer (Norton, 2017).
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Anthony D. Miyazaki (2008) Online Privacy and the Disclosure of Cookie Use: Effects on Consumer Trust and Anticipated Patronage. Journal of Public Policy & Marketing: Spring 2008, Vol. 27, No. 1, pp. 19-33.
Collinson, P. (2017). Beware the cookies: they can cost you money. [online] the Guardian. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/money/blog/2010/aug/07/computer-cookies-booking-online [Accessed 22 Mar. 2017].
Copp, E. (2017). 10 Benefits of Social Media for Business. [online] Hootsuite Social Media Management. Available at: https://blog.hootsuite.com/social-media-for-business/ [Accessed 26 Mar. 2017].
European Commission, (2017). Cookies – European commission. [online] Ec.europa.eu. Available at: http://ec.europa.eu/ipg/basics/legal/cookies/index_en.htm [Accessed 24 Mar. 2017].
Liu, Y. (2017). The Pros and Cons of Cookies: A Google Story – Internet Marketing Inc. [online] Internet Marketing Inc. Available at: http://www.internetmarketinginc.com/blog/the-pros-and-cons-of-cookies-a-google-story/ [Accessed 26 Mar. 2017].
Oxford Dictionary, (2017). ethics – definition of ethics in English | Oxford Dictionaries. [online] Oxford Dictionaries | English. Available at: https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/ethics [Accessed 26 Mar. 2017].
Norton, (2017). Cookies and Your Online Privacy. [online] Uk.norton.com. Available at: https://uk.norton.com/cookies-and-your-online-privacy/article [Accessed 26 Mar. 2017].
Reveal, (2017). Hot on Your Trail: Privacy, Your Data, and Who Has Access to It. [online] YouTube. Available at: https://youtu.be/bqWuioPHhz0 [Accessed 26 Mar. 2017].
Toor, A. (2017). Facebook begins tracking non-users around the internet. [online] The Verge. Available at: http://www.theverge.com/2016/5/27/11795248/facebook-ad-network-non-users-cookies-plug-ins [Accessed 26 Mar. 2017].