I think that consumer security online is one of the most important and current ethical issues of social media in business talked about today. Forbes not only call it an issue but a ‘deadly sin’ of social media. Many companies compromise our security and sell on our personal information to this day. Let’s face it, how often do you read term and conditions when singing up for an online shopping retailer? I can image not so often. In the meantime our information gets passed on for profit maximisation purposes. For example DoubleClick, online advertiser attempted to combine offline purchase data from consumers with their online persona, alongside with Facebook itself that has stepped out of line numerous times and compromised our security by changing the types of personal information automatically shared ( Vinjamuri 2011).
As you can see from the image below, many consumers do not feel secure and do not trust the companies with their information, and that un turn can massively affect the image and success of the businesses.
However, many companies today are working on tackling this issue to ensure ethical treatment of consumers online. For example, one of the most heard about cases recently is Apple refusing to create a backdoor into tracking IPhones and iOS and informing consumers worldwide about it, alongside with making their products more secure for individual consumers by adding touch ID and Apple pay (Khatibloo 2016).
Alongside with Apple, WhatsApp have recently introduced an end-to-end encryption of all the messages sent via the latest version of their app, so that not even WhatsApp themselves can gain access to it. (WhatsApp 2016)
Samsung have been working with Goldman Sachs on security software Knox for their consumers, and their views on online security you can see in the video below
I think that, although many companies have been bringing in extra security methods for their consumers in the digital world to protect them and help build consumer – company trust, we are a long way away from the ideal world here. Many of us still get targeted ads all over the websites and spam emails from the companies we haven’t even ever heard of, which can make us feel anything but secure online. Ad blockers do not change the fact that our information is going out there to third parties and spam emails never end. This is why I believe that this is a very important issue in the online community today and more has to be done by big corporation to focus on their consumers rather than maximising their profits.
Bachman, K. (2014) Consumer confidence in online privacy hits 3-Year low. Available at: http://www.adweek.com/news/technology/consumer-confidence-online-privacy-hits-3-year-low-155255 (Accessed: 24 April 2016).
Forrester (2016) Apple does the right thing to defend customer privacy. Available at: http://www.forbes.com/sites/forrester/2016/02/18/apple-does-the-right-thing-to-defend-customer-privacy/#4d61727a5b90 (Accessed: 24 April 2016).
Inc, W. (2016) WhatsApp: Security. Available at: https://www.whatsapp.com/security/ (Accessed: 24 April 2016).
Samsung Newsroom (2016) [CES 2016] keynote part 5: Consumer security in the Internet of things. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q1Y9WinMEN0 (Accessed: 24 April 2016).
Vinjamuri, D. (2011) Ethics and the Five deadly sins of social media. Available at: http://www.forbes.com/sites/davidvinjamuri/2011/11/03/ethics-and-the-5-deadly-sins-of-social-media/#5da007d037ad (Accessed: 24 April 2016).