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For Customer Insights Professionals

Reinforce Privacy Through Full Disclosure

Marketers Must Embrace Privacy To Avoid Consumer Outcry

October 29, 2009


  • By John Lovett,
  • Dave Frankland
  • with Carlton A. Doty,
  • Emily Murphy

Why Read This Report

Despite consumer privacy concerns, the vast majority of Web sites from retailers to healthcare providers are actively tracking the behavior of online visitors. This practice is well within the rights of these Web site operators not because they adhere to a strict set of tracking guidelines but because there is no formal governance reigning over digital tracking procedures in commercial organizations. To understand the tracking practices and consumer privacy considerations made by marketers, we surveyed 250 Web site decision-makers in Q4 2008. Our findings revealed that marketers' data collection practices often walk the line between innocuous and intrusive. Given the heightened concern in Washington today, Customer Intelligence professionals must balance privacy ethics in their quest for profit in a self-regulated environment.

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