Digital marketing experts track their user behavior in order to collect data of their customers interests and buying habits. Because of this practice, people have begun to question whether it is ethical for companies to track their actions. In my own thoughts, I believe this issue can be partially ethical and unethical.
Tracking Behavior is Ethical
Tracking a consumer’s online behavior can be ethical when the activity is restricted to the company’s website. If the company is tracking their website’s data, then they are within their boundaries to track the activity happening on their webpage. Collecting user data, in this case, can be useful to the company when they update their content. The company can see which pages of their website are being visited the most by consumers when tracking activity. With the data collected, marketing executives can figure out how to edit other parts of the website so more people will click through. The pages would then resemble the most popular page and could collect more clicks from consumers.
Tracking Behavior is Unethical
In other cases, it is unethical for companies to continue tracking their customers internet actions after they have left the company’s website. Whatever the customer searches on google, or whatever websites they visit next, the company has no right to continue tracking. Customer activity on other websites is not the business of the company and therefore should be swiftly ignored. It’s an invasion of privacy and should be illegal, as it could put the consumers information at risk. The internet is not always a safe place and information that the company is tracking can fall into the wrong hands. The company should only track their website if they choose to do so. If they do track they need to make the customer aware.
These reasons determine whether tracking customer behavior is ethical or unethical.