Every time you sign up for a website and provide your email, name, or phone number, you’re giving them access to your information. Once you’re on their site they’re tracking your movements. By entering this personal information you’re consenting that they’re allowed to use and track it.
When you’re the owner of a site tracking user behavior can be extremely beneficial. Sites like Google Analytics allow you to access user data and see how long consumers are visiting the site and which pages they’re visiting. This can help a business better utilize their site and create a better user experience. Analytic breakdowns also allow businesses to view what demographic is visiting the most frequently. While this is a more personal analysis it can be extremely helpful in understanding and narrowing down the target population.
Some companies like Pinterest and Uber are extremely secure when it comes to user information. This means that they have a more ethical business model and they won’t abuse customer information by sharing or selling it. When companies follow a specific protocol, as Pinterest and Uber do, I believe there can be an ethical way of tracking user information.
However, companies like Facebook, Amazon, or any mobile service provider, are quite the opposite. Companies like these track user information and collect it in order to sell it to other companies. When information is taken and sold this way all ethical practices are neglected. Unfortunately, a lot of companies seem to follow in these footsteps.
Tracking user information is an extremely helpful tool. This tool can also be extremely misused therefore I do not believe it is an ethical practice. If more privacy laws were put into place user behavior tracking could remain a good thing. However, without these laws, the practice of tracking user behavior is abused and overall unethical.