Management of Engineering and Technology
Internet--United States, Right of privacy -- United States -- Regulatory aspects, Cookies (Computer science), Electronic commerce, Consumer protection, Data mining -- Industrial applications
Internet technologies have enabled people and companies to extend communication capabilities far beyond any geographical and political boundaries. Such capabilities have enabled companies to create new sales channels as well as new means to track and extract consumers purchasing habits and preferences. These new capabilities and activities raise several critical issues about consumer choice and privacy.
A short survey was conducted to identify consumers knowledge and concerns with regards to online profiling as well as identify whether regulations are necessary to protect consumers interests. The survey revealed that Internet users are wary of their privacy and many are concerned about misuse of personal information. The survey leads us to conclude that an appropriate regulatory framework must be implemented to address consumers concerns and to gain consumer confidence in this new marketplace.
In a rapidly growing industry such as the Internet the proposed framework will need to be sufficiently flexible to simultaneously promote technological innovation and consumer choice. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has identified self-regulation as the preferred approach to regulate this industry.
Effective implementation of self-regulation poses several challenges. This paper outlines some of these issues. Based on our observations, recommendations are made with regards to industry strategies and policies that need to be adopted in order to address consumer concerns and ensure the success of self-regulation.
Barrett, Andy; Ficek, Gary; Haines, Tony; Joiner, Jennifer; and Roy, Vincent, "An Analysis of Online Profiling Practices and Regulations" (2001). Engineering and Technology Management Student Projects. 1865.