As today’s society grows more interconnected, more people become increasingly aware and data privacy concerns become a rather prevalent issue. Confirmed by The Pew Research Center, 62-63% of Americans believe it’s impossible to avoid data collection by the government and different companies. In a society where an unknown answer means “Google it,” large companies and government partners can easily access wider expanses of information.
The Truth About Tracking
This recent perception of data collecting actions is not founded without principle. In 2019 alone, 98.5% of Facebook revenue came from advertising. The company tracked and continues to closely track the activities of it’s more than 2.4 billion users for the sake of prescribed advertisements. Google, YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat, and more are among the many others which gather extensive information and reap profits from advertisers.
As more Americans understand the developments of aggressive advertising methods, expansive social media presences, and the collection of a larger expanse of data, they experience increasing considerations and distress on behalf of their exposed private information.
Data breaches, internet hackers, and further violations of privacy and personal security have become daily occurrences. By October 2017, a breach of Yahoo! Mail had grown to affect approximately 3 billion users. At the start of 2019, Marriott revealed that hackers had gained access to valuable information. This included credit cards and passport numbers, for some 383 million guests. Several large companies, including Equifax, Twitter, eBay, Badoo, Capital One, etc. are responsible for collecting countless instances of valuable information. They have also experienced notable breaches.
With the introduction of products like the Amazon EchoDot, Google Home, and Apple HomePod, devices are now equipped with the new capabilities. They can listen in on commands, reminders, and (to the concern of many) private conversations.
Despite the righteous paranoia and sometimes violating activity, data collection and data sharing are necessary. They allow advertisers to design and inform viewers regarding available products, services, and resources. This is a more targeted audience would express notably more interest in. When a company or the government collects information on a person, it can be valuable for all parties. The advertiser makes a higher profit, the company is paid by the advertiser, and the consumer views more interesting advertisements.
The Effects of Privacy
As data privacy concerns increase, limitations are placed on collection methods to give more targeted and profitable advertisements. Without access to such information, companies are forced to advertise more, increasing exposure to a less predictable audience, decreasing company productivity, and increasing the annoyances of potential and uninterested buyers.
Increasing data privacy concerns imply that proper security and restrictive measures must also increase. For advertisers aiming to make profits, there must be a balance to ensure that they collect relevant information while consumers feel comfortable. The issue is not so much the sharing of data for advertising purposes but rather the applications of data in ways that violate personal security and defy social responsibilities.
While advertising can and will be compromised by data privacy concerns, these deficits can also be replaced by an expanding technological outreach. This occurs as reaching more potential buyers becomes significantly easier through the comprehensive internet. As more people utilize their electronic connections (find more videos, scroll through more social media posts, watch more TV, and experience more societal exposure), advertisers find it easier to reach a significantly larger audience. Higher data privacy comes at the cost of an overall increase in advertising. This becomes essential for advertiser profits and more irritating for disinterested advertisement viewers.
Finding a Balance
As a society, we must address the infringement of data privacy through stronger security systems. For the benefit of advertisers, companies, the government, and even ourselves, increasing data privacy concerns shouldn’t affect daily advertising. But by solving security issues, we eliminate the need for data privacy concerns. We also ensure the effectiveness of data collection.