There will always be buzz in the analytics community about whether or not visitor tracking is ethical. With Facebook’s latest Messenger company and online privacy issues hot on the minds of many internet users, the issue of what data a company should or shouldn’t have access to will likely remain a hot news item over time.
Regardless, is there anything wrong with companies using visitor tracking to meet their potential or current clients’ needs? When is visitor tracking ethical or unethical? How can businesses ensure their visitor tracking complies with the email programs, analytics programs and marketing automation software they’re using?
When Is Visitor Tracking Ethical?
Visitor tracking is all about logging information on individual website visitors for business intelligence use. Having this information on hand allows businesses to determine which action to take that might result in a conversion from the visitor. Whether this is logging IPs, collecting emails or initiating chat with a user, getting personal information about users can be beneficial for many businesses.
So when is this type of tracking ethical? When a user willingly gives a business information such as an email address, phone number, street address or any other personal data, they’re essentially giving their permission to contact them. Knowing who that user is by logging their IP and identifying further visits to determine which marketing methods might be best is permissible.
Here’s when it gets tricky – the sharing of information with other net properties or other businesses violates privacy all the way around, can be illegal and gives individual users due cause not to trust a business or engage with them further. It’s important for businesses to disclose that they take privacy seriously, and give users a 100% fair and complete expectation of what will be done with their data.
The Appropriate Disclosure
This Lead Liaison blog entry details how unethical visitor collection practices violate user privacy and could cause problems for businesses. To avoid issues, businesses should make sure they are engaging with software and visitor tracking solutions that are ethical at their core. Many marketing automation solutions have the tracking power available to provide business intelligence without violating ethics or spam or privacy laws.
At Lead Liaison, we take privacy and ethics very seriously. We work to make sure clients can get the intelligence they need without compromising user security or the trust of current or potential clients. To find out more about how our ethical visitor tracking solutions work, contact us for a consult today!