Consumer Privacy and Commercial Behaviors of Consumers – Essay Example

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The paper "Consumer Privacy and Commercial Behaviors of Consumers" is an outstanding example of a marketing essay.   There is a myriad of issues influencing and challenging the privacy of consumers with vigorous business management and marketing strategies in commercial and industrial organizations. As information technology took authority in propagating consumerism, companies have also devised strategies to track personal profiles and to record products purchased by consumers through e-card systems or through the social network system. People have increasingly been adaptive to e-commerce, pay through cash cards, and got electronically registered as members of major commercial institutions (Henry, 2010).

This is the ease of modernity as e-commerce introduced consumers to transactions by simply swiping their ATMs in tendering payments. But along these developments brought questions on whether or not consumers' right to privacy is protected (Henry, 2010).                       This study is a critical qualitative explication about consumers' rights taking into account policies and practices surrounding these modern commercial behaviors of consumers. Consumer and privacy defined                       Consumers are buyers or purchasers of any service or goods from commercial sites and are economically explained as an important factor in the market's value chain.

Their behaviors in the market are influenced by a myriad of factors, such as their economic standing, political views, level of environmental advocacy, theosophical beliefs, as well as their physiological status (Perner, 2011; Casquet & Diaz-Mendez, 2010). Their strategic motivation and decision-making, in relation to their needs and wants, are also motivating factors in determining their preference over products. As part of microeconomic systems, public policies also direct and supposedly protect the interest of consumers (Perner, 2011). Policies are also recently improved as social marketing is rigorously influencing consumers at the household level (Perner, 2011; Croitoru & Ristea, & Stegaroiu; 2010).                       Privacy, on the other hand, refers to specific directives that prohibit disclosure of data and information as part of any business transactions which could be transpiring in commercial areas and amongst banking institutions (Burke, 2001).

Privacy is either informational, physical, decisional, or propriety. Informational privacy refers to that information obtained for medical or employment purposes either manually or electronically generated that are supposedly be kept with confidentiality and of protection (Burke, 2001).

Physical privacy, on the other hand, refers to constitutionally guaranteed rights for individuals such as the right to search and seizure and be freed from paparazzi-style of media coverage. Burke (2001) likewise argued that solitude is a form of physical privacy which is essential for integral and personal peace. Decisional privacy refers to an individual's right to decide over one's personal welfare like what healthy food to buy or what kind of medication is essential for certain illnesses while proprietary privacy deals with publicity rights, ownership of property or those which cover proprietary over material and intellectual ownership (Burke, 2001).                       To cite concrete examples, the European Union (EU) had as a matter of national policy protecting consumers’ right to privacy, among other rights.

US Court has interpreted that consumer’ s rights to privacy are already inherent in statutory provisions that are inclusive of information and correspondence whether actually done or through technological mediation. The right to privacy is in fact broad and susceptible to a varied interpretation that some economists perceived that privacy provides such liberty for capitalists to invoke such right against advocacy or policies on transparency.

On the other hand, consumers argue that their rights to privacy protect them from unscrupulous capitalists who had been using the consumer database in strategically advancing their business interests in the market. Hence, in the EU, authorities uphold Federal Trade Commission when it legislated its Fair Information Principles that upholds some principles, universally observed as customary practice in business operations (Yusoffm, Suhor, Ismail, Abdul Aziz, Razman,   & TalibaKhalid, 2011; Dinu, 2006) Companies who are collecting information from consumers must notify or explain the cause of data collection. Consumers retain to have such an option to choose what personal information to divulge and their preferred limitations. The consumer must enjoy access to their inputted information for review, correction, and affirmation. The company should ensure all consumers that data collected from these consumers should be protected at all times and be totally free from unauthorized use of information. Consumers likewise advocate sanction of penalties against those who violated these policies and principles enunciated in fair information acts.   Protection Consumers Rights Online                       As these develop, congress likewise passage legislations of integrated policy which will also protect the consumers’ information provided in online-based data collection.

Bills passed so far for legislation covered the Consumer Internet Privacy Enhancement Act and Online Privacy Protection Act of 2001. Consumers are still waiting for complete legislative approval although they are already enjoying protection against unfair marketing practices.                       Moreover, children, below 13 years old, who are using online information and are also protected by the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), a policy that restricts companies to abuse child's information and mandating them to extol self-regulation policy. The same is true with the adoption of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Privacy Rules which mandate health care practitioners to notify formally the clientele about the personal information obtained for medical services purposes.

On financial matters in Europe, the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act mandates financial institutions to be genuinely transparent and bear accurate statements as part of the information-sharing practices (Burke, 2011; Bauer, 2002). The Act, however, to some extent, has also restricted the use and sharing of financial information and at the same time provide the right of consumers to exercise the right to select the option on what to publicly disclose.   In other regions, some stringent policies were legislated to protect those who are engaged in online commerce.

The passage of the California Online Privacy Protection Act of 2003, otherwise known as Business and Professions Code mandated commercial online services to have its own privacy policies for its consumers to forewarn and protect clienteles from fraudulent online practices (Helberger, Keré nyi, Krings, Lambers, Orwat, Riehm, van Gompel, Stef & Duffy, 2004). As part of regulating online businesses, they were required to possess Online Certification or "Seal" to truly actualize the self-regulation of privacy policies.

Seal programs usually require the implementation of fair information practices. These are illustrated with TRUSTe, online privacy seal program, Trust Guard Privacy Verified program, eTrust, and Web trust. Google, Paypal, eBay and other dominant websites engaged in banking and commerce are certainly can be cited as sites which have posted its privacy policies (Schovsbo, 2008; Nicoleta-Dorina & Luca, 2011; Dragomir & Anghel, 2011).                       In the EU, consumers' rights are also being continuously studied how they were able to effectively and efficiently respond to privacy regulation which disallowed advertisers to make use of consumers’ information for designed advertisements.   Conclusion Indeed there are major shifts in how a consumer behaves in the market, how legislators have responded to protect their rights, and how business management and marketing have evolved with modern facilities.

While these are recognized realities where consumer rights ought to be contextualized, they remained vulnerable in the machination of scrupulous businessmen in the market who are driven purely on leveraging financial gains. Thus, considering all these developments, the following recommendations are hereby forwarded to advance further the rights of consumers (Burke, 2001; Schovsbo, 2008; Nicoleta-Dorina & Luca, 2011; Dragomir & Anghel, 2011; Gazaleh, 2008; Allred, Smith, & Swinyard, 2006) Sustain the passage or legislation of policies that would strengthen the protection of consumer rights. Advocate the education of consumers to capacitate, enable, and increase their consciousness on their rights as well as for them to recognize the remedies available in law or policies. Although enjoyed by the few, consumers' rights in e-commerce should be regulated well and should be monitored closely as there are also potential threats in web-based business transactions e. g sudden unaccountable transfer of funds which is being attributed to unsafe online banking practices. Vigorously fight for consumer rights in the parliament and be involved in decision-making directly affecting consumer rights and welfare.

Realize that buyers can return goods to vendors online who were unable to provide satisfaction to goods needed and that under online privacy regulation, there is sufficient guarantee for security. Let online consumers know that “ Online consumers have the right to clear information about product characteristics, prices (cost, hidden taxes, and payment deadline) and conditions before making any online purchase of services or goods” .

Secured websites are those with HTTPS” and “ s” as a guarantee for security. Protect computers from viral attacks and hence, consumers should know significant software that can protect them best.

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