Privacy is a huge concern in a world filled with people that do not always know they are being watched as they browse the internet. The idea that someone is being watched by someone that may not even be in the same vicinity as them. Social media sites have been known for collecting data, to help better pinpoint advertisements to consumers, the question is when does this become a privacy breach? Cooper in his article Between the Summits actually uses the internet as an example. There are so many dangers to the internet that are by no means limited to data mining. In some ways, companies being able to directly sell to you through Facebook is a good thing, because it makes it more accessible to you as a consumer. I recently downloaded the newest software for my Macbook and noticed when I online shop it now always asks if I want to autofill my credit card information in. I always click the “not for this site” button, as I cannot help but think that might be asking for some credit card fraud. I remember also thinking during this time if the internet always has my passwords and at the same time they are tracking what I am doing and searching, what would the chances of these lines crossing be.
Facebook was definitely one of the bigger companies to start this collection of data (and got a lot of attention for it) as they were trying to make more money. For a while it seemed like every few weeks I would get a notification for a privacy setting change. This makes some consumers question how much information is too much information. I can personally say that as soon as this started happening I started backing away from using Facebook, which in all fairness this was also due to the shift to other social media sites, which as not only a Millennial but also a marketing communication major is pretty important to keep up with. According to Discovery News, online marketers track things such as where you are tagged in a photo, what you share, what friends share, if you are buying something online, or even so much if you put something in your online shopping account and did not proceed to buy it. I can personally related to shopping at Nordstrom, if I put a pair of shoes in my shopping cart and either let it sit or do not buy it, as soon as I log onto Facebook those shoes or ones very similar are one of the first links to come up on my newsfeed.
According to a few different Millennials that I discussed this topic with, they all have a similar view as me. It is nice to have a sense of personalization, but when it is too much? When should I be concerned with my privacy? The good thing for these social media sites is that they are so crucial to today’s world, there is a slim to none chance people will stop using them because of this. One of the Millennials that works at a Public Relations company with me says “Although it is slightly creepy that we are being watched so closely, it is a very useful marketing tool when it comes down to selling me what I want and showing me what I want to see.” This was the general consensus among the younger generation I have talk to. From my view I think it is because Millennials have grown up this way. When asking someone like my mother about this topic (the most active group on Facebook) she is more unaware of it, I think due to not growing up with technology, but when explained the older generations find it more concerning.
Brand loyalty is becoming more and more rare, and with that marketers have to get more creative with how they target audiences certain products. This is just a step in the direction for nuances of marketing and advertising.
Cooper, T. (2008). Between the Summits: What Americans think about media ethics. Journal of Mass Media Ethics, 23. 15-27. DOI: 10.1080/08900520701753106