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Re: Third-Party Web Tracking: Policy and Technology Paper outlining harms of tracking

From: Walter van Holst <walter.van.holst@xs4all.nl>
Date: Thu, 11 Oct 2012 19:30:56 +0200
Message-ID: <50770250.5080905@xs4all.nl>
To: public-tracking@w3.org
On 10/11/12 7:19 PM, Jeffrey Chester wrote:
> Alan.  Could you please clarify.  Are you saying that you and/or your
> clients believe that the loss of privacy from contemporary digital
> marketing practices is not a "harm."  This will help in the discussion.

To add to this conversation, I think this article in the Journal of
Business Ethics may shed some light on the issue for those unaware of
the dangers of tracking and/or unaware of the current theories in
business ethics:

Electronic Monitoring and Privacy Issues in Business-Marketing: The
Ethics of the DoubleClick Experience

The paper examines the ethics of electronic monitoring for advertising
purposes and the implications for Internet user privacy using as a
backdrop DoubleClick Inc's recent controversy over matching previously
anonymous user profiles with personally identifiable information. It
explores various ethical theories that are applicable to understand
privacy issues in electronic monitoring. It is argued that, despite the
fact that electronic monitoring always constitutes an invasion of
privacy, it can still be ethically justified on both Utilitarian and
Kantian grounds. From a Utilitarian perspective the emphasis must be on
minimizing potential harms. From a Kantian perspective the emphasis must
be on giving users complete information so that they can make informed
decisions as to whether they are willing to be monitored. Considering
the Internet advertising industry's current actions, computer users and
government regulators would be well advised, both practically and
ethically, to move to a user control model in electronic monitoring.

Full text can be retrieved through


Received on Thursday, 11 October 2012 17:31:25 UTC

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