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December 04, 2006

Information Ethic$

After reading the Mason article which discusses the principles of information security (PAPA), we have found that internet retailers have immense potential to capitalize on the technologies on the market that catalog consumer information for their personal benefit. Specifially, online retailers like ebay.com and amazon.com utilize key information about internet shoppers, including gender, percieved age, location, spending patterns, internet connection speed, and other variables to maximize sales, and therefore profits. Individually, any of these characteristics are seemingly harmless and anonymous, but in unison, can create a consumer profile that most users would prefer to remain private. In fact, we feel that internet retailers invade shoppers' privacy in attaining this information without any type of notification, and then using it to "better serve" shoppers through promotional campaigns, sales, etc.

In order to promote a fairer internet retailing environment, we believe that firms such as ebay or amazon should always notify shoppers when their personal information is being documented. Without such notification, a shopper's personal privacy is being violated. Additionally, shoppers may become victims to price discrimination as a result of this scheme of information recording. Accordingly, these technologies should be limited in their use, and when implemented, customers must be notified.

Posted by jzemon at December 4, 2006 04:02 PM

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