Is it data mining or marketing espionage?
When, if ever, is gathering personal information with the intent on marketing in such a way as to sway public opinion, too much?
Good question and something to definitely think about. I actually wrote a hub Sharing too much information online? where I try to address this issue. My opinion is that companies are making millions of dollars because of consumers' personal information which they willingly provide. Consumers are mostly unaware how their personal information is being used and gathered for marketing purposes which should become more transparent. When is gathering personal information too much? When more informed consumers decide it has become too much.
It seems like this questions is asking several questions. Or, maybe I'm thinking too much.
As far as "to sway public opinion", I think it depends on what you mean by that. I don't think marketing any product to an individual is going to sway public opinion. However, If the question is also referring to gathering personal information about a celebrity in order to smear that person's name, or otherwise affect that person's status, then I think it's always too much. That is, the people who follow celebs around wherever they go, photographing every moment and publishing every detail are, in my opinion, completely wrong. I understand they have the right to do what they are doing, but having a right to do something doesn't mean it's the right thing to do. It's called personal information and a private life for a reason.
I think there is nothing wrong with Google's practice of tailoring ads to websites that were visited. After all, if you're visiting a site that you don't want them to track, you can always use their "incognito" windows.
In other words, to far is merely related to what a reasonable person would accept or whether that person is unknowingly forfeiting their information.
Thank you, kgMacke. I was referring more to the covert methods of finding out what cereal you eat, what movies you go to, etc, in order to understand your hot-topic buttons....this goes well beyond a Google search. Again, thank you for your thoughts.
Indeed, this is a question we should ALL ponder. I began to think about this tactic more recently when I learned that campaign headquarters were gathering our information in order to create and promote campaign materials that would very much target our emotions and compel us to vote in a particular way.
Data mining, pertaining to consumer goods, has been an active and ever-increasing marketing method, but, when data mining spills over from the private market into our government that gives me pause.
Data mining in the first place is never okay. It is, unfortunately legal, but highly unethical to gather personal data such as behavioral activity data from users without their explicit written consent. This is what marketing companies are doing through the use of tracking and monitoring browser cookies all the time. It is wrong to gather, sell, re-distribute, or use in any way, this type of information.
Furthermore, using such data to manipulate public opinion is a gross abuse of privacy. and a terrible travesty in today's business and political activities. I feel that if a company can't successfully market their product or service without miss-using consumer's personal data, then they don't deserve to be in business in the first place. Business success begins with respecting consumer's right to personal privacy; especially their internet browsing and behavioral activities.
That is a very well phrased question. And the very straightforward answer is clear: When it is done without express consent that is not passive. Marketing in it's pure form is nothing other than education. Marketing in it's worst form includes deceit. That deceit can be in the form of gathering private information without privilege or representing goods or services as something they are not.
Most online marketing now have different grades of "visits". If they come through a "redirect" that is hidden -- they do not pay much for it. If they come through a search engine, that is much better. I think the market will play this out. We are getting sophisticated enough to qualify the methods and authenticity of mined information. The people paying for chicanery will soon stop as there is more a downside than an upside -- but not yet.
Really nice question. this data or hub is actually from my own experience. it is not marketing, just increase your job experience with textile sector.
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