Consumer concerns about the privacy of their personal data

The increasing use of the Internet around the world has heightened consumer concerns about the privacy of their personal data. What is the nature of the concerns, and what are their implications for Internet marketing activities?

As Big Data and the large databases that store them proliferate, consumers are concerned that the huge volume of data will expectedly result to difficulties in handling and management, which are cracks wherein unscrupulous people can enter, thus resulting to possible privacy violations, identity and personal information theft. The lack of legal frameworks to counter such threats, and the paranoia created by the media, make matters worse. As a result, consumers reject cookies or purchase to websites that require their confidential information, therefore limiting the companies’ marketing performance and opportunities (Wirtz, Lwin, & Williams, 2007).

Some of the biggest concerns are people stealing personal information and identity theft. This can hurt marketers because marketers use that information to conduct studies and collect information on the demographics shopping with the company. It also hurts marketing activities because people will be less likely to participate in reviews or questionnaires because they don’t want someone to get their information which marketer need for studies.