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    Why Online Privacy Should be a Top Priority for Businesses Too
    James Nagy
    / Categories: Management, Technology
     

    Why Online Privacy Should be a Top Priority for Businesses Too

    It seems like every other day on the news we’re seeing stories about online security breaches, personal data being leaked, debit/credit card numbers being hacked, etc. The list goes on and on. It almost seems like we’re desensitized to the news now that it happens so often. But, in the day where we hand over our personal information, our first born, and the keys to our house to every app on Facebook that wants us to play their game –I think we need to start watching our backs a little bit. Online privacy should be a top priority in the days where we aren’t taking the time to read privacy statements and if we did, we’d be seriously concerned about what is being shared.

    This article in Forbes of what’s published in the FTC and Senate Commerce Committee Reports outlines the threat of seemingly the seemingly harmless practice of sharing your personal information for marketing purposes. Does this seem totally harmless to you?

    “Consumers who visited Orbitz.com from a Mac were for a time shown more expensive travel options than those who visited from a PC.

    Using its ‘pregnancy prediction model,’ Target TGT -4.4% sent baby clothes coupons to a teenage girl, which alerted her father that she was pregnant before she could tell him herself (a true story, written about in Charles Duhigg’s best seller, ‘The Power of Habit’)

    Data broker Equifax EFX -0.59% sold the names of 170,000 people who were late on their mortgage payments to Direct Lending Source, which then turned around and resold those names to an unnamed third party 

    In 2007, data broker InfoUSA pegged some consumers as “Oldies But Goodies, those who are gullible and want to believe their luck can change” and sold their names to people who targeted them with fraudulent sales pitches. Other InfoUSA categories:'Rural and Barely Making It,' 'Ethnic Second City Strugglers,' and 'American Royalty'”

    As a regular joe and a consumer. These facts can be alarming. Let’s turn the tables a bit though; what is your responsibility as a business owner? Say you’re the head of one of the companies collecting the data –what is your responsibility to your consumer? First and foremost, you need to regain trust from your consumers. It seems to me that the easiest way to accomplish this would be total transparency. People already feel violated. If they’re ever going to trust you again, then they’re going to need to be able to keep track of what you’re doing to make sure you’re not doing it again.

    In my opinion, people should be able to decide for themselves what kind of information they’re sharing on the internet. Businesses that are marketing and using this data to further their reach might want to think about taking a step back and regaining the trust that they’ve broken.

    What do you think about using personal data for online marketing? Should online privacy be more regulated? What are your suggestions for all around solutions to the issue?

     
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    James Nagy

    James NagyJames Nagy

    Looking for a business consultant, how can I help? As Co-Founder and Managing Partner of J&S Tech Designs, I have three decades of experience and expertise to share with you and help your business, product, or idea thrive.

    Other posts by James Nagy
    Contact author Full biography

    Full biography

    As a strategic leader and entrepreneur, James Nagy has a record of generating growth by leveraging the latest technologies to drive sales, marketing, product development, and profitability. He is known for identifying and capitalizing on market trends, developing effective tactics for implementation, enhancing operating performance, and serving as a trusted advisor and business partner. Skilled at working across operations, James builds strong, cross-functional relationships and communicates complex technical information to diverse internal and external stakeholders.

    A big picture visionary, James identifies and reacts to market trends, providing disruptive strategies that go beyond IT to include sales, marketing, and product portfolio management. Building on his experience as Director of Software Development with premier companies Midas International Corporation and SXC Health Solutions, Inc., James launched two successful consulting companies, Sprocket Websites Inc. and J&S Tech Designs. As the Managing Director, he provides innovative solutions to clients in small- and mid-cap companies.

    When he is not advising other business leaders, James lends his expertise to a variety of organizations. He is a Founding Member & Committee Member of the Greater Conejo Valley Chamber of Commerce; he serves on multiple teams and committees for the Naperville Area Chamber of Commerce; he is a Founding Member of the Chicago Area DNN User Group, and he serves on the Board of Directors of the New West Symphony. In his free time, James enjoys Sci-Fi, coin collecting, traveling and wine tasting.

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