For many consumers, the sites that they visit online and the purchases they make are very private and personal for them, something that they’re not interested in having shared. Whether they’re making nominal, routine purchases like clothing or jewelry, or making high-end purchases like computers or cameras, they may not want their buying habits shared with other online vendors.
However, online retailers of course may view things differently since they need and use customer lists for email marketing or in search marketing. Since the gathering of consumer information is largely personal by nature, privacy advocacy groups are taking steps to ensure that customer privacy is protected and that they have a voice in how their information is disseminated.
The Federal Trade Commission and the Commerce Department are both currently compiling data that will give insights into online privacy. They will make their findings known in the upcoming weeks which will greatly affect how online privacy issues are handled.
While the officials at the Federal Trade Commission favor a “do not track” policy for consumers, the Commerce Department feels that this is an area that should be regulated by the consumer with the option to “opt-out” of any sales messages. The possibility of some political interest intervening in the situation is also a factor that both organizations are considering as they make their pleas.
No one likes getting sales material all of the time, but if the consumer’s rights are protected, and companies are not allowed to market to them, then to what degree will that affect online economics and spending?
Shouldn’t consumers be allowed to control what they receive and opt-out if they want to? Even with all of the deluge of marketing and advertising that currently exists online, there is always a market for a product and a customer to buy it, no matter how small. If that choice is removed, businesses are affected, which eventually affects economic conditions overall.