Business, Privacy, and the Internet

Organizations do have a right to know who is using their products, to a
certain extent.This “right” surely should not exceed what the local
grocery store can tell about its customers from observing them walking in
the store, selecting certain items, and then purchasing them.In other
words, information should not be obtained without consumer consent.
We all know that information gathered from Internet sites is sold.In
fact, 9 out of 10 web sites collect personal data. (Surmacz)There is no
doubt that a personal rapport with consumers allows for a better
relationship between the company and the customer.Among other things,
this ensures that both parties are satisfied.The Federal Trade Commission
notes that there are two ways in which companies retrieve information,
which are procedural and substantive.Procedural principles let the
consumer know that information is being gathered whereas substantive
principles impose “substantive limitations” on the collection of data and
how that data is used. (FTC)In order for both parties to be satisfied,
each business must inform each customer if certain information is being
To ensure proper safety procedures, the government should be in control
of consumer privacy issues.In this day and age of corporate fraud, it is
better to have an outside party regulate laws and prosecute cases (if need
be).One step in this direction has been the establishment of the Fair
Information Practice Principles, which contain a set of five core
principles, better known as the “fair information practices.” These five
principles are notice/awareness, choice/consent,access/participation,
integrity/security, and enforcement/redress. (FTC)Every set of these
principles includes consumer consent, which is a step in the right
direction as far as privacy is concerned.This clearly states that web
sites should notify consumers that information is bei…

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