The Selling of Customer Information – Business Ethics

On Thursday September 4th, Version Mobile agreed to pay a $7.4 million fine over its use of personal consumer information for marketing purposes. Although it has been common practice within the business to compile user data for marketing purposes, with customers becoming increasingly worried about their private information getting in the hands of unwanted third party corporations, governments have created new laws and regulations to address this fear. One such law is which was put into effect in 2006 made it illegal for companies to sell information about them without the ability for the customer to opt out. Although these laws are in effect, many corporations like Verizon have failed to them which has resulted in this most recent ruling for Verizon to pay $7.4 million dollars.


Verizon is but one of many businesses who have forsaken ethics for larger profits. Other such companies include Barclays, AT&T, and Facebook who all are involved in the selling of their customer’s personal data. Unfortunately with the continuous changes in the field of information technology, laws set by government cannot keep up to the industries changes. Some companies like Walmart, a company not usually associated with noble business ethics is leading the pack of big chain stores by deciding to stop selling general sales data to six market-research companies a good start for an industry known for walking the ethical line. In my opinion, it is the responsibility of governments to regulate businesses to make ensure the safety and privacy of all their citizens which is currently being infringed upon.



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