For users of social media, Facebook's free platform offers a way to connect with the world. Their ad platform exists so users don't have to pay, but even if they did, the network wouldn't be so comprehensive if there were costs involved. For Facebook to maintain what's called 'critical mass', every single user would have to pay dollars for their services. The thing is, what most people don't realise is that they are actually paying for it now. Not with money, but with their privacy.
USYD's Marketing Matters explores the concept of privacy and what it means in this day and age by exploring the learning from Terry Beed's guest lecture for Regulatory Environment & Ethics. Louis Brandeis and Samuel Warren define privacy perfectly in their essay The Right to Privacy, stating that privacy is a right valued by civilised men-something that is essential to democratic governance and an integral part of our humanity.
We have the 'right to be alone'.Louis Brandeis and Samuel Warren championed the protection of the private realm as "the foundation of individual freedom in the modern age." Nowadays, marketers have the ever-increasing capacity to invade consumers' personal activity.
Internet marketing brings forth a myriad of privacy challenges. And for the new breed of marketers who use targeted, behavioural marketing, without regulatory enforcement, the increased data available on the web could lead governments, companies and criminals alike to exploit consumers' rights.
Privacy is a concept in disarray.In Daniel Solove's essay Taxonomy for Privacy (2006), privacy is described as being 'a concept in disarray'. Solove writes, "Nobody can articulate what it means. As one commentator has observed, privacy suffers from 'an embarrassment of meanings'."
The Taxonomy For Privacy is a framework for understanding privacy in a pluralistic contextual manner, which explores the fear of what happens to private information. These fears are grounded in:
- Collection: surveillance and interrogation.
- Processing: aggregation, identification, insecurity, secondary use and exclusion.
- Information Dissemination: breach of confidentiality, disclosure, exposure, increased accessibility, blackmail, appropriation and distortion.
Privacy regulations are more than just guidelines.
The privacy market is a big business.
The ultimate trade-off.
No matter what the future of technology and digital marketing brings for consumers, companies and their stakeholders, to an extent, it will always be important to respect privacy. However, at the rapid pace of technology evolution, regulation can rarely keep up with the change. So it is up to us to trust ourselves to do what is right and not add to the erosion
Current student in the Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School.