Ethical Issues in e-Commerce Essay

Ethical Issues in e-Commerce Essay

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The Internet has received a great deal of attention in the media lately due to its tremendous
growth in usage by both consumers and businesses. The unique capabilities of the Internet has captured the attention of the marketing community. While a growing number of companies have or are interested in developing an Internet presence, there is still a great deal of uncertainty about it and the potential ethical issues associated with its use as a marketing medium. Although many businesses are acknowledging the importance of a Web site, but the potential ethical issues related to marketing on the Internet still having an uncertainty in this situation. Much less attention has been given to the business community's perceptions of the ethicalness of this new medium. The unique interactivity of the Internet has captured the marketing community's interest as a way to develop and enhance customer relationships and establish greater brand identity. Thus, many commercial services have become available on the Internet that allow consumers and organizations to interact electronically. These services include booking airline tickets online, buying books and compact discs, and receiving stock market information. Although the number of consumer users and commercial organizations navigating on this "information superhighway" is growing almost exponentially, the benefits of the Internet are not without drawbacks.

Ethical Issues

Privacy is the condition where someone personal information can not be documented and be used by others (Parent, 1983). Privacy has been and continues to be a significant issue of concern for both current and prospective electronic commerce customers. The foll...

... middle of paper ...

...try to ensure Internet security. More practically, marketers must try to target consumer groups more accurately. Minimizing unwanted consumer contacts may reduce the intensity and visibility of some dimensions of privacy issues. Last, marketing researchers must attempt to define privacy operationally. Much has been said and written about consumer privacy, but we still have little understanding of what information consumers consider private, why they consider it private, and whether this set of information changes situationally or in response to other factors.

Works Cited

Stead, B. A., & Gilbert, J. (2001). Ethical issues in electronic commerce. Journal of Business Ethics, 34, 75-85.

Foxman, E. R., & Kilcoyne, P. (n.d.). Information technology, marketing practice, and consumer privacy: ethical issues. Journal of Public Policy & Marketing, 12(1), 106-119.

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