Ethical issues in E-commerce - Consumer Privacy

Ecommerce business transactions involve data being stored and transmitted electrically. Accessing a website, providing personal information, ordering products, arranging payment via credit or debit cards, etc all occur without customers’ control. Privacy in ecommerce transactions therefore is a leading concern for consumers.

Cookies are the most common privacy concern to customers. Cookies enable web servers to store information such as shopping cart items on the user’s device or to track the user’s browsing activity (including clicking particular buttons, logging, or recording which pages were visited in the past).
Even though the use of cookies can be used to compromise customer privacy, there are much more serious privacy issues such as identity theft, lost or stolen personal information, fake website, spying and hacking.

These more serious privacy issues make it imperitive that companies first have to recognise the ethical issues involved and then design a set of privacy policies in order to protect their customers
The United Kingdom’s Data Protection Act in 1984 provided a framework for privacy policy as an ethics guide for companies. The guide consists of these following principles

(1) Private information should be handled fairly and equitably,
(2) Private information should be collected for specific, accurate and authentic reason,
(3) Private information should be adequate and not be kept in longer then the necessary time,
(4) A person must be informed by which his or her personal data is subjected to any other processes including making decisions, being rectified, erased or blocked, or disclosed to other third parties,
(5) Appropriate security methods will be taken against any actions of violating rules of personal data privacy.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on whatsapp
Share on pinterest