Online advertising is a crucial component of the modern world. It’s how consumers get the help they need to make important purchasing decisions. Additionally, it’s also how businesses improve their chances of earning sustainable revenue streams. Unfortunately, shady practices in the digital environment have led to some controversy over how ethical certain online advertising solutions might be.
Data Collection And Sharing
It’s no secret that organizations like Google and Facebook are constantly gathering data about users in order to provide consumers with a more customized web experience. These major advertising bodies then process user data, package it up and hand it off to other interested parties. This is how they make sure they’re making enough money to provide their clients with a free service.
While research indicates that most people don’t mind sharing their personal information with firms -- particularly if it leads to a better shopping experience -- they do expect to be asked for their permission first and potentially offered something valuable in return. In fact, according to a study by Columbia Business School, 80% of customers would voluntarily reveal data about themselves in exchange for better product recommendations or rewards points.
Problems do arise, however, when companies collect data without asking. Many people regard this information-gathering practice to be unfair, invasive and, in some cases, illegal. Not only does involuntary data collection upset customers, but it’s also incredibly difficult to keep that information safe, sometimes leading to data breaches and the problems that follow.