The Power of Data: Ethical Practices in Data Collection

Collecting user data online is one of the most important and influential tools a business can use to inform marketing efforts and grow their revenue. Cookies, tags, browser fingerprinting, and ultrasound beacons are only a few of the many components of online tracking that allow websites to collect and store user data. Because of how advanced this technology is, there are many regulations that have been put in place to ensure that user privacy and protection is guaranteed.

In Europe, ePrivacy Directive works in tandem with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) to secure user privacy through data protection and gives those users powers such as the right to be informed, the right of access, the right to object, and many more. Similarly, in the United States, states like California, Colorado, and Virginia have unique legislations in place that grant user rights related to the processing of their personal data and information.

Because of these strict regulations, businesses and large corporations face many challenges when gathering and attempting to assemble viable analytics. Once a large portion of online users refuse to consent to sharing their information, businesses may struggle to gather sufficient data and are therefore unable to make substantial changes or decisions based on consumer wants and needs. Also, there are large monetary consequences associated with inappropriate use or handling of data, some of which cost large companies like Amazon and Google millions of dollars for a variety of infractions.

Despite these challenges, businesses may be able to comply with online privacy laws while still getting the most out of their data. InfoTrust proposes the use of cookieless technology to lawfully avoid the need for consent, and an increase in user registration to promote the sharing of personal data in a more voluntary way. Businesses must invest in these solutions, as they will protect user privacy and uphold consensual practices, without sacrificing data quality.

Data Collection in a Post-Cookie World
Source: InfoTrust