Marketing with Your Privacy

photo of people using laptop

Data privacy is the handling of sensitive personal data or information. Data privacy is important because it keeps data out of the wrong hands. The ways companies have chose to market their product, companies, and services has changed in many ways over the years.

Some of you might remember when ads would show up on your social media apps or websites from another website that you had just been looking at. This was due to the companies tracking your interests across other websites. Companies would track users so that they could tailor ads to fit what you were looking at or things that would grab your attention. Many people have felt uncomfortable about their personal data being collected from their day-to-day lives. When marketing companies have this data that they have collected from their consumers it allows them to create a more personalized marketing experience. All of these companies that use people’s private data are being forced to go back to square one with how they advertise products/services.

TedX talk about how data is collected

User Personalization is when companies use data that has been collected from a customer’s profile, their interactions, and their behavioral data. This data is very beneficial to businesses In 2021 Apple’s changed their IDFA (Identifier for Advertisers) policy to allowing their users to choose whether or not to allow other companies to track their data across other apps.

“Privacy is a fundamental human right and at the core of everything we do. That’s why with iOS 14, we’re giving you more control over the data you share and more transparency into how it’s used.”

 Apple, Inc.,the%20sharing%20of%20this%20information.

The Meta platforms lost about $10 billion in revenue after Apple changed their privacy policy because they could no longer provide users with ads that they would have most likely clicked on. Their ad targeting accuracy decreased immensely. Most investors have begun to sell their stocks in social media platforms with Meta dropping 22%, Snap by 18%, Twitter by 8%, and even Pinterest, by 11%. The combined loss of $278 billion in market value. All of these platforms have a combined loss of $278 billion in market value. These losses are a big concern for big tech companies.

From watching the Netflix documentary, The Social Dilemma, I have learned that social media services aren’t free, they’re trying to see how much time they can get their users to spend on the platform. They use our data to predict our actions and what will hold our interest. For social media websites and apps everything is all about clicks, engagement, sharing etc. They’re trying to find out what gets them more of each of these components.

Manipulation is a major part of social media platforms they use your interests against you to take up more of your time. Companies can advertise places around your location because social media apps use your tagged locations on your posts to see what’s nearby that they can advertise to you. they track what accounts you interact with the most and they use that information when they are choosing what to advertise to you.

Another way social media websites gathers your information is by using your time-zone to show your posts based on the time of day. For example if they are trying to promote a breakfast special at your nearest Dunkin’ Donuts that they know you frequent in the morning before you go to school or work, this advertisement would ideally be posted in the morning.

Also, they keep track of your friends, relationships, and your interactions with those friends. Marketers use this data to suggest you follow friends of your friends without having to search for them. When users allow their data to be used, the data can only be kept for specific, explicit and legit purposes. In particular, the data should only be used for the purpose that the user has already been informed of. For example, if you tell a user that you’re gathering data and using the data that was gathered for research purposes, you cannot use that data for the purpose of marketing. When companies collect a users personal data, they have a duty to protect it. Personal data belongs to the subject from which the data was collected, not these companies or anyone else. Our personal data should be processed in a manner that ensures the proper protection of that data.

Overall there is a lot of controversy about whether or not the amount of data that these social media websites and apps gather is ethical or not. There are many people that the social media apps do not cross the line because they help enhance their personal experiences on the platforms. Others are unsettled by having their data monitored all the time.

I feel everyone has the right to data privacy and should be given a choice if they want their experiences to be more personal on these apps then they should be able to have that option. If you want to keep your information to yourself which I would personally want then that should be an option too. Having most marketers and advertisers go back to square one with their marketing techniques and not being able to predict what will get them the most clicks or shares I think is a good thing. Phones and social media shouldn’t run our lives.

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