Editor’s note: Aloshia Jackson is an M.B.A. student at Wayne State University’s School of Business. Recently, she examined Internet methods available to business to track consumer behavior. In her post, she also questions the ethical implications for business and privacy options for the individual online consumer.
Advances in online technology over the years have tremendously impacted the way in which marketers obtain information in order to improve targeting, segmentation, reach and therefore profitability. It has also impacted the way products are marketed to consumers.
Such advances allows marketers to tailor ads and search results to the consumer based on activity storing cookies on consumer’s computers and other data collection methods. As a result, marketers are able to keep items of interest in front of the consumer rather than annoying advertisements, products, and services that the consumer is not interested in and provide a huge array of services to consumers. While there are many benefits to tracking and collecting data through modern day internet technology several concerns arise: