With the expansion of the internet and the need for privacy, is the current online advertisement models a good thing? Given the large corporation like Facebook, Google, YouTube, etc. having huge access to your personal data/info the concerns of them profiting your info. What are the consequences to be seen from the consumers? The information other companies have or gained from said companies good or bad what is in-store for the future?
While a lot of large corporations have good intentions with what they try to do to create a better customer experience. There’s a lot of potential risks that are being built continuously in the background in exchange for ease, convenience, and privacy, and eventually, our rights/freedoms will be sacrificed in the process according to some. Where do we draw the line?
We all had the simple but annoying ad of a pair of shoes we clicked on and it follows us on the web for days later trying to insight a conversion. But what if it evolved to something bigger? Understanding the algorithms and our roles as marketers are important because information and ads can have significant impacts. For instance, YouTube and its ads and algorithms to autoplay videos they think you would like next and how the video’s ads and the message gets more extreme the longer you watch, polarizing you while collecting data on you. Or Facebook, the increase of fake news, increase in polarization, the inherent control on ad relevancy and post relevancy and the control to censor or show whatever that would either keep us on the site longer or lead to ad clicks or conversions. And the effects can range from the presidential election to post about news or memes.
While this may seem like a stretched version of the truth and an extreme spectrum of the situation of online advertisement. But a country like China who has further utilized information from online advertising have created psycho-graphics on its people with or without consent. Being able to advertise to them very well or take advantage of them unknown to me. But not impossible and yet possible for it to occur anywhere. Whether we are aware of it or not. And while the United States is not like China or a communist state, the power of information and system are in the hands of large corporations and the government what means do people have to stop them?
I believe the issue is growing and we are at a 3-3.5 on a scale of 1-5, “1” being not dangerous and “5” is highly dangerous. From the accounts of corporations like Facebook, Google, Instagram, etc. we are too far in with little regulations in comparison to Canada and the UK where they have stricter laws. With Facebook being one of the biggest Corporations and personal info database it has a new amount of data leak, unwanted share, and breach. It shows that we are not the only ones in need of handling our data with care but corporations too. With these, there is a need to better protect our data. With limited transparency our rights and data hidden in the fine print there should be more efforts to better the model on online advertisement. And the need for government intervention to help set guidelines to better serve the people before it’s too late is needed. To gain traction back to the mission of serving a better customer experience is having morals.
Here are some ways to combat the issue is building morals for digital marketers and the media that they should keep in mind to prevent this from growing and becoming an issue.
Code of Ethics for Digital Marketers
- Do No Harm
- Be Transparent
- Never Compromise On Privacy
- Obtain Individual Consent For Solicitation
- Speak the Truth
- Imagine the Impact
- Protect Others Data Like It’s Your Own
- Reject manipulations and sales tactics that harm customer trust.
- Recognize our special commitments to vulnerable market segments such as children, seniors, the economically impoverished, market illiterates and others who may be substantially disadvantaged.