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discussion board Only needs to be a paragraph

Do you think its a good idea to place cookies on a consumers computer? The use of cookies tells Web site owners and advertisers who views the ad. Nothing wrong with thatright? After all, many registration-based sites collect key demographic data such as the users address, age, interests, and browsing history. This information, however, allows the organization to use online media for behavioral targeting. As mentioned in the chapter, the ability to buy keywords means that advertisers can target very narrow contexts. Again, there seems to be nothing wrong with this approach to marketing. So where might the ethical dilemma reside?

Critics point out that cookies are data sources that just keep on giving. Many consumers complain that cookies never go away and are the source of endless viruses. This little back door into the consumers purchasing habits, preferences, and demographics has become a big issue. Consumers with health problems (e.g., cancer), risky behavior (e.g., sky diving), addictions (e.g., alcohol or smoking), or alternative lifestyle choices claim that cookies allow them to be profiled and discriminated against by product, health, and insurance companies. In some instances, the U.S. government even uses this technology to track consumer actions and preferences.

Investigate the use of cookies and organizational policies that are intended to protect consumer information (see company Web sites for disclosure and privacy statements). Take a stance: (a) Cookies are harmless and help marketers target the correct market with messages and dont significantly invade privacy; or (b) Cookies are harmful, invade privacy, lead to discriminatory practices, and should be banned. Summarize your stance.


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