The ethics of data collection and targeted advertising in digital marketing

Share this article:

A growingly common component of digital marketing is the utilization of data collection and targeted advertising. Although it can be a useful tool for getting the appropriate message to the right people, the collection and use of personal data have given rise to ethical questions.

Privacy is one of the primary ethical issues with data harvesting and targeted advertising. The volume of personal information that is gathered about individuals, including their search histories, browsing patterns, and location data, unnerves a lot of customers. This data may be utilized in ways that compromise customer privacy or result in identity theft. Because of this, companies must be open and honest about the kind of data they gather, how they use it, and with whom they share it.

Potential prejudice is another ethical concern. It is possible to discriminate against particular groups with targeted advertising, such as on the basis of sexual orientation, gender, or race. Anti-discrimination rules might be broken by this, harming the company’s reputation. Because of this, companies must be mindful of the possibility of discrimination in their targeting strategies and make sure they are not unintentionally harming any groups.

Targeted advertising also has the potential to produce a “filter bubble,” in which people are only exposed to messages and content that support their values and worldview. This may be harmful to the range of viewpoints and exacerbate polarization in society. Companies must be mindful of the possibility of filter bubbles and make sure that their targeting strategies aren’t making the problem worse.

Furthermore, there’s a chance that using personalized advertising will change how customers behave. Businesses can sway customer decisions in ways that might not be optimal for them by focusing on them with targeted messaging and incentives. This weakens the relationship between businesses and customers by being perceived as a betrayal of trust.

And lastly, the question of permission. The choice to refuse data collection and targeted advertising must be given

to consumers. This entails giving customers simple-to-understand controls over their data and how it is used. It also entails making certain that customers are completely aware of the purposes and recipients of the data they provide.


In conclusion, there are a number of ethical issues with data collection and targeted advertising in digital marketing. These include consent, filter bubbles, prejudice, privacy concerns, and manipulation. Businesses must make sure that they are not infringing on consumer privacy or manipulating behavior by being open, accountable, and responsible with their data collection and targeting strategies. By doing this, they may increase their clients’ trust and reputation while ensuring that they conduct themselves morally and responsibly online.

Share this article:

Add a Comment

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