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Online Privacy

Online privacy research papers report that one of the most important issues concerning the Internet in the millennium is that of online privacy.  According to a report from Pew Internet & American Life Project, “nine out of ten users do not make purchases on the Internet because of the fear of their privacy being violated”.  While companies are trying to gain the trust of consumers, they are also faced with the need to gather marketing information.  The consumer’s private information is used for personalization, marketing, and selling to third parties. 

Online Privacy

I believe there should be a major concern, if not alarm, over the corporate use of the American consumers’ personal data.  I believe many online customers are unaware that they are not required to disclose personal information to a Web site.  The typical online consumer does not realize that information about them can be gathered just from visiting a site via the use of cookies and/or web logs.  Cookies are small files that contain user information.  This information may include personal data such as user’s name, user’s address, IP address, location, browser, and a history of what pages the user has viewed.  The information can be tracked form site to site and it “leaves traceable footsteps on the Internet”.  The reason I believe one should be so worried about the lack of privacy on the Internet is the simple fact that this privy information can be used to take advantage of and mislead the consumer.  Private information given to a company can be sold to anyone for a price. 

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