The paper "Personal Information and Crime" is an outstanding example of marketing coursework. Marketers have relied on consumer information to guide their promotion and marketing efforts for decades. This trend continues to the present where the Internet has facilitated access to a wider array of information about consumers. A significant difference between the collection of information in the past and today is access to detailed information about individuals. According to Phelps, Nowak and Ferrell (2000, p. 28), marketers relied on market-level data or modelled data in the past. The introduction and easier access to the internet has provided marketers with the ability to collect detailed information about individual consumers.
For instance, social networks can rent out databases of personal information thereby allowing third parties to target advertisements at people who meet some certain criteria (Solove, Rotenberg & Schwartz 2006, p. 185). In the same way, e-commerce companies like Amazon can learn about a consumer’ s buying habits and offer suggestions that are derived from the customer’ s preferences. Importantly, much of this targeted marketing is possible because individuals and businesses are willing to share their personal information.
This paper explores whether internet users underestimate the risks associated with sharing personal information online and how the provision of personal information facilitates online and offline crime. Personal Information Personal information describes any information that is individual-specific. Individual-specific information includes addresses, demographic characteristics, age, names, lifestyle interests, current location, and shopping preferences (Phelps, Nowak & Ferrell 2000, p. 28). The collection of personal information has been the subject of much debate. Proponents for the use of personal information argue that it has benefits like giving producers the ability to identify and meet the ever-changing needs of consumers.
Meanwhile, those opposing the collection of personal information claim that marketers are likely to abuse private information. Given that individuals willingly share personal information, it is essential to find out whether they are aware of the risks highlighted by those who oppose the collection of personal information. Social networks and e-commerce provide an environment for assessing this question. Additionally, hacking and identity theft are some of the ways that criminals can obtain and abuse the personal information that individuals share online. E-Commerce According to Thomas (2013, p.
1) e-commerce describes individuals and businesses selling products and services and using the internet to facilitate the transactions. It is important to note that electronic commerce does not have to be employed by an entire business. It can be utilised in the business-to-consumer area and traditional strategies used in the business-to-business segment. E-commerce is a popular and growing industry in the UK, with the whole of Europe representing the biggest e-commerce marketplace in the world (Thomas 2013, p. 2). Despite the current popularity, e-commerce faced a myriad of challenges during its early years.
For example, the total e-commerce revenues in the US in 1997 was only $707 million (Hoffman, Novak, & Peralta 1997, p. 80). One of the major barriers to the adoption of e-commerce was a fundamental lack of faith in businesses had online offerings. Over the past 20 years, confidence in firms that engage in electronic commerce has risen drastically as evidenced by the $481 billion revenues in 2016 in the US (DeNale & Weidenhammer 2017, p. 2). While the increased e-commerce has been beneficial for marketers and entire economies, it is essential to determine whether the increased consumer confidence in the model has been misplaced.
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