Alongside emerging technologies in the digital marketing industry, such as the internet of things (IoT), comes new ethical concerns.
To read a simple definition and short history of the IoT, check out what Wikipedia says here, but my explanation would be to imagine living a life of the highest convenience. Not having to get up to turn off the lights, downloading your shopping list from your fridge, getting health updates from your watch…a life of technological bliss!
If we are worried about the level of data that companies have on us now, we need to step back and consider the impacts this life of convenience may cause.
I want to use smart fridges as an example, because who doesn’t love food and convenience?
Consumers don’t have much trust in companies that collect their data, as shown by the 60% of Facebook users who have little to no trust that their information will be kept private (CNBC, 2013).
However, with smart fridges tracking our eating habits, privacy is a crucial element that consumers cannot overlook!
Imagine the same scenario of distrust between consumers and smart fridge companies, with a cloud of doubt around whether they are selling user data…
Now, imagine that these companies are selling user data and they’re selling it to insurance companies or pharmacies who use our personal information to market their health coverage or vitamin range!
(A very dramatic and dystopian twist, but you never know)
How much of our private information are we happy to trade to marketers in exchange for convenience?
My suggestion is to keep an eye on Garner’s hype cycle! Be aware of what’s coming and start to think about potential ethical issues, both as marketers and consumers.