Data Mining Of Personal Data

1608 WordsNov 30, 20147 Pages
In order for a business to succeed in selling a product or service, they must first know their target market. There are many ways to find information about customer preferences, the most effective being a process called ‘data mining.’ Data mining is “obtaining detailed, real-time customer information via internal databases” (Morris & Pharr, Invasion of privacy: A dilemma for marketing research and database technology, 1992, p. 11). A relatively new practice, data mining for marketing has increasingly brought the business and information technology fields together. However, it has also become a controversial practice due to concerns that companies are crossing the line between effective advertisement and respect for the privacy of individuals. In this paper, I argue that data mining of personal data for marketing purposes has become unacceptably invasive of people’s private information, as with the new practice of collecting information from private emails in order to market advertisements. Most companies will continue to push the envelope, using stored information in customer databases in an unethical fashion, unless companies that successfully find a balance between marketing advantages and privacy rights of individuals lead by example. The use of relational database technology, such as Structured Query Language (SQL) and Query by Example (QBE), in marketing has expanded business between the seller and the consumer like never before: “Database technology has opened the

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