Consumer Privacy Essay.docx

Consumer Privacy Essay.docx - Consumers need to safeguard...

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Consumers need to safeguard their own privacy as businesses and governments cannot be trusted Introduction Before we grasp the extent of this unsettling topic, we must first define consumer privacy and set a boundary to which our analysis will focus on and how it has emerged as one of the prominent, nerve-wracking topics in today’s society. Privacy issue has been prevalent since the last century, and the article - “The Right to Privacy” (Warren & Brandeis, 1890) - was written in response to the loss of privacy experienced in the nineteenth century – photographs and news coverage were invading the sacred precincts of private and domestic lives (Wirtz, Lwin & Williams, 2007). As Logan Roots, a Bay Area computer programmer, defines privacy as “the freedom to selectively reveal one’s self (McCreary, 2008)” while others define it as partly a form of self-possession, I consider privacy as a personal right to express oneself in whatever form without any involvement or knowledge of a second party. While privacy is recognized as a fundamental human right in international treaties, consumers are finding that in the online world, they may have to pay to ensure this basic civil right is protected (Wirtz, Lwin & Williams, 2007) as the digital existence – the Google searches, the e-mail traffic, the commercial transactions, the cookie-tracked footprints of treks through cyberspace – makes increasingly uncontrollable (McCreary, 2008). To think conversely, we may assume businesses are extracting information to better serve our needs and create values, and therefore it benefits both firms and consumer under a capitalism realm; however, the reality shows otherwise - it is suggested privacy issue arises as a result of natural tensions between corporate interests and consumer rights (Culnan and Bies 2003). More and more, they’re profoundly uncomfortable as they contemplate how that data is collected and for what hidden purposes (Fertik, 2014). Consequently, consumers now have drawn several
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initiatives to protect themselves from further deprivation of privacy, including placing their trust in institutions such as banks and financial organizations that are highly regulated and controlled with government oversight (Fertik, 2014); increased precautions against signing-up and information request; and check upon the legitimacy of the organizations they are affiliated with. This report stresses the importance of how consumers can actively safeguard their own privacy as we believe the actions taken by businesses and governments along are not sufficient to ensure consumer online security. While it is argued that businesses or governments have robust policies and privacy-protecting standards in place, either with a third party involvement or not, we look into alternatives at consumers’ end and how these approaches help alleviate the implications of unjustified use of personal information for business practices.
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