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This posting discusses consumer privacy from companies.

The rise of information systems has enabled organizations and governments to gather an incredible amount of information profiling individual customers. Using real work examples, analyze the legal, ethical and social implications of storing and using this information by organizations.

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One of the main issues in this activity is that the organizations that compile information about their consumers also usually hire various agencies that specialize in consumer-information gathering techniques, and they combine the oftentimes general information given by the agency and integrate it with the specific information about each consumer, until an even more comprehensive profile is completed for each consumer. Although a percentage of the data may be flawed, the greater percentage of the data is accurate and becomes usable to the company. The company then takes the combined information and uses it to their advantage for marketing and promotional purposes. Although our organization does not do this, there are many large organizations that do hire and use such agencies.

There are two main real work examples that directly relate to this type of activity. The first type is when companies, mine and many others included, collect personal data, such as social security numbers, for legitimate purposes, such as for investing in assets or opening financial accounts (by law, due to the terrorism act, all people opening any financial account must provide a social security number). We also have a notice that the social security number will be used to obtain a credit history. From the person's credit history, combined with additional information that we obtain from public records, we are able to compose a detailed profile of the individual or of the couple applying for an investment account, for for other financial means. Our firm executives obtain information from general databases, such as property tax records, information retrieved from online courthouse databases, and ...

Solution Summary

This solution provides a very detailed discussion of the ethical, social, and legal implications of companies gathering information on consumers. References are also included.