Digital Marketing and Ethics

One expects some degree of privacy when using online platforms such as Google, face book, among others. One of the privacy expectations that users have is that their personal information will not be disclosed. They are much concerned about this because the information could be used to harm them. This is applicable when using platforms such as face book or websites where an individual is required to disclose their personal information such as age, identification numbers, and emails, among others. Users trust the developers of the apps, and they thus, provide the information because, on the other end, if they decline, they may not be able to use the service.

Another expectation that users have is online tracking. While they do most of the activities that could disclose their interests, many internet users do not like their movements being tracked. For instance, when ordering some goods online, some companies can carry out their marketing activities, study the person requesting behavior such as what they are ordering, in what category of pricing, how many, and such information. They then use this information to market such that they start sending emails or ads whenever the person is online. Other website owners sell the consumer’s online behavior to organizations. In such a case, many online users fear the information obtained about their online behavior could be used to manipulate their activities.

In both physical and web stalking, the purpose is to find information about someone. Both are similar in that the impact may be physical harm. For physical stalking, a person tracks someone’s activities, such as what they are doing, where they are going, and who they are with to get information. The next thing that could happen is, if the stalker wants to harm the target person, it is easy as the person will be targeted when they are alone. Similarly, when stalking someone online, a stalker may track when they are using applications such as Google maps or find my device. Such applications allow stalkers to know the exact place the person they are targeting is. The stalker may then follow the person and cause physical harm.


On the contrary, web stalking is secure to stalkers than physical stalking. Searching for one’s information using an internet device may not send the person being stalked a signal of danger. This is because the stalking can happen when the two parties are far apart geographically. On the other hand, physically stalking may be more insecure because the person being stalked might examine the strange behavior of the stalker. For instance, if the two are neighbors, and the stalker keeps peeping through the window or paying the other a visit, the person being stalked may sense something is going on. Hence, the stalker may be identified before accomplishing their mission.

Consumers should be given a chance to opt-out of the cookies agreement when they wish. Even though their explicit consent should also be given before cookies are installed in their devices, opting out at any given point should be a right. The main reason for this is because some websites provide detailed readings that ask an internet browser whether to accept cookies or reject. Since many users usually have other tasks besides reading the terms and conditions, they just opt for accepting without knowing precisely what they have agreed on. In reality, many consumers do not read the terms and conditions. Thus, they should be given the right to opt-out when they wish because, in the first place, they did not know what they agreed on. The right should also be given because consumers may discover that their behavior and activities are being studied, whereas they wish to stay private.

Since the world has evolved technologically, tracking online behavior is inevitable, and internet consumers cannot control it. Therefore online users cannot merely claim that they are responsible for owning their personal information because they are using the internet controlled by other people. However, buying and selling consumers’ online behavior is not for everybody. People who own the websites that consumer visits can only own the consumers’ online behavior. However, they should not disclose personal information that can lead the consumer into troubles, such as cyberbullying.

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They can buy and sell online behavior for consumers because it is a digital world with new marketing methods and making money. The primary concern comes in when the behavior is marketed to people who can harm a consumer. For example, suppose a consumer is seen to be a rich person who regularly buys expensive products online. That information is sold to a gang of people pretending to be a company. In that case, the consumer’s finances may be harmed through conning. Therefore, those selling online behavior for consumers should take care of who they sell it to. Furthermore, laws governing selling and buying of online behavior should be formulated to protect online consumers.