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The Internet and online Marketing

Autor:   •  February 11, 2014  •  Essay  •  547 Words (3 Pages)  •  903 Views

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Hidden inside of many people’s computers are files that collect data about the users. These files are most often installed deep insides someone’s computer without them even knowing it. The files are automatically downloaded while surfing the Internet. These files will gather personal information about the computer user and then this information is actually sold for very little money. The files consist of a code that knows how to identify users of the computer and there interests. It uses software called a “beacon” to obtain information based on words that the user types into search engines or when they make comments about books or items they have purchased. Profiles are then created with this information and then sold to companies that are looking for potential customers.

“One of the fastest-growing businesses on the Internet, a Wall Street Journal investigation has found, is the business of spying on Internet users.” (The Wall Street Journal, 2010, “The Web’s New Gold Mine: Your Secrets,” para. 7). Companies that used to pay money to advertise on the internet are now spending money on technology that will follow people based on their internet searches and likes. Typically, the information that is gathered is anonymous. Users are identified by numbers that are assigned to their IP address. As of now there are no legal guidelines on how this information can be used.

I think the ethical problem with collecting people’s information is that they do not tell you in most cases that they are doing it. They should give some sort of disclaimer or pop-up that alerts you that this might happen if you proceed further on the site. I know on Facebook after selecting a particular link or function sometimes I will get a message telling me that if I proceed I will be giving Facebook access to my contacts and friends. It is then up to me whether to proceed or not. Data collected through Facebook and Twitter


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