Internet Privacy Ethics

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Table of Contents
I. Introduction 1 II. Cookies and User Profiling 1 III. Privacy laws 2 IV. Web Eavesdropping 3 V. New Law 3 VI. Consumer Trust 5 VII. Bibliography 6

Internet Privacy Ethics
Introduction
The citizens of the United States have always been keen on privacy. A new emerging issue is on Internet Privacy issues. Privacy issues can lead to devastating consequences such as identity theft and bad credit ratings. Many users of the internet do not know the level of security or privacy of a website they access. There are many uncertainties when using the internet. How can we trust that our personal information is safe? How do we know that we actually have privacy? How do advertisers obtain our personal information? Are there actually laws regarding internet privacy? Cookies and User Profiling

Many consumers do not realize that when they are shopping on the web that their personal information and browsing habits are being saved. Cookies are information that is saved and can be used to help companies personalize a user’s browsing experience. This is meant to offer a much greater experience and value to the customer. Cookies can be used to store personal information and purchasing patterns. User profiling is a practice in which companies track and record users’ online activities. Companies use a person’s browsing habits as a marketing tool. Online marketers use this for successful advertising. Unfortunately, because of new competitive strategies, marketers must seek other options on how to gain information about consumers for their companies. User profiling is more commonly used by businesses these days. Many websites gain personal information, such as a person’s full name, address, email address, and telephone number, by requiring consumers to register before accessing a site. Although, this practice was primarily used to create a better web experience for the consumer, many have led to be more harmful to the user than helpful. One very popular in particular is identity theft. Most victims of identity theft are not aware that their identity has been stolen until their credit ratings are ruined. This is mainly because of personal information being available not only to businesses but also to users who have knowledge on how to access this information. Privacy laws

There are a few laws present today, like the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act and HIPAA, which protect users from online marketers and other users. But these acts are made for a specified reason, companies that offer consumers financial products or services like loans, financial or investment advice, or insurance and companies that offer or maintain personal health records online, respectively. There is the Federal Trade Commission or FTC. The FTC works for consumers to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices in the marketplace and to provide information to help consumers spot, stop, and avoid them. The FTC enters Internet, telemarketing, identity theft, and other fraud-related complaints into Consumer Sentinel. Consumer Sentinel is a secure, online database that is available to hundreds of civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad. In 1998, the FTC enacted the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act...
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