How Ethical Is Tracking User Behavior?

As we provide much of our information online, it becomes easy for a business to track our behavior. There are a lot of determinants on whether or not this action is right or wrong. Tracking users behavior can be a helpful thing if a businesses using this information properly.

Projected Intent

The application Google Analytics provides businesses with a significant amount of resources for tracking data. In this application, businesses could understand who is visiting, what their interests are, what page go them to their site, etc. This information provides an easy way to track user behavior and understand the audience better. From here, it is upon the business to then take this information and use it in an ethical reasoning. Ethical intent could be providing interest specific ads, providing incentives to re-visit the site, or provide the user with emails on when deals will be held. These are positive, non-invasive, ways tracking can be ethical.

Google Analytics

Consumer Permission

An important way to make an action ethical would be through asking for permission. By tracking user behavior you hold what might be seen to some as personal data. To avoid pushing privacy boundaries, allow consumers to know their data is being tracked. An informative tactic that provides users with the ability to allow or decline their information to be used based off their interests in the site would be cookies. This provides users with an option to participate or not. Another tactic could be, using an email sign up option that gives users to ability to receive more information from the site they are on. These tactics are just a couple ways a business can make sure their actions of tracking user behavior stay ethical in the process.

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