Behavioural advertising is the practice of tailoring advertisements to an individual’s personal interests and this is appealing to marketers because targeted advertisements are more likely to result in a purchase compared to non-targeted advertisements.
Since the introduction of social media sites, online social media platforms have grown rapidly. With massive amounts of personal data now available online and stored in the cloud, online privacy has become a key topic of discussion. Online privacy is very important for varied reasons. No one likes to share their personal details with strangers and it is difficult to ensure what personal data is gathered and also by whom.
What are the risks involved?
Other than your email id and phone number, the kinds of information that you may be sharing on a social media app includes your profile, your status, your location, shared content and many more. All of these reveal information about you, including contextual information that you may not even be aware of. By sharing your personal information online you are providing enough information to allow advertisers or hackers to take advantage of your online identity.
Many social media apps make profit by selling user data to the advertisers. Behavioural advertising is the practice of tailoring advertisements to an individual’s personal interests and this is appealing to marketers because targeted advertisements are more likely to result in a purchase compared to non-targeted advertisements.
How to tackle this?
If apps take a stand and make a clear statement that ‘This data collected will not be shared with anybody’, then people can trust them. Whatever the user should know before ticking the Terms & Conditions box, that information should be put on top clearly without any ambiguity in language.
The need for Right to Privacy as a Fundamental Right
One should value data privacy online in the same way as the real world. Nobody likes to share details of their personal life with strangers and it is difficult to ensure what personal information is gathered, for what purpose and by whom. In the EU, concerns like these are addressed with GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation). This set of laws, passed in 2016 and implemented in 2018, protect the privacy and data of every EU citizen. We also need such regulatory bodies in India to protect our online privacy.
The Indian constitution does not guarantee Right to Privacy, and without privacy, internet users modify their private behaviour out of fear. It removes personal autonomy. It is important to have a comprehensive law that protects the privacy of internet users and this requires further work. As Indian citizens, we should demand that Right to Privacy be the 7th Fundamental Right at the earliest.
Source: Business World