Sample Research Proposal On Consumer Privacy

Published: 2021-06-21 23:51:15
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Category: Information, Education, Students, Business, Law, Customers, Internet, Privacy

Type of paper: Essay

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The objective of this paper is to investigate on the necessity and feasibility of conducting a consumer privacy education program in colleges, universities, or in any other form of educational institution in the form of a complementary module that will be presented to the students as an addition to whatever subjects and topics are outlined in their course syllabus. In this paper, the author will conduct interviews and focus group discussions with a total of five college and or university students who are taking up any of the bachelor’s degree offerings in their respective college and or university.
Present status of the problem
Consumer privacy pertains to a diverse set of legally binding rules and regulations that are often made in order to protect individuals (i.e. consumers, clients) from any form of deliberate and or malicious activity that may lead to the loss of an individual or a group of people’s privacy. The number of reported cases of violation of consumer privacy rules and regulations represents just a fraction of the larger umbrella of consumer protection issues.
The thing with this current generation of computer users is that a continuously increasing percentage of the activities they do now involve the use of the internet, and of mobile devices such as a smartphone and a tablet computer, apart from the more mainstream and basically older notebook and desktop computers. All of these devices can be used to access the internet, a place where the identity of the users, or in this case, the consumers can be easily exposed and be used by unscrupulous people, often for malicious and fraudulent purposes.
An individual or a group of individuals’ privacy or one’s ability to hide himself from malicious entities on the internet may easily get lost by merely accessing or downloading different types of file and information from the World Wide Web . Consumer privacy may pertain to any laws and or regulations that are aimed at protecting an individual, group, or organization’s privacy. Every person basically has the right to remain anonymous, unknown, or unrecognizable in a harsh environment that is the internet. This right is and can be protected through consumer privacy laws and regulations .
The thing with consumer privacy is that once it already got lost, it can never be taken back. A single copy of information containing an individual’s real full name, home address, e-mail addresses, and contact numbers, and even a portrait picture, once uploaded on any site that is actively connected to the internet, would most likely remain on the internet forever, no matter how many times these data get deleted in the first internet site that was used to upload them. This is because chances are internet users have already started to share the uploaded information with other users and before the person behind the details already knows it, thousands of people already have access and copies of his personal and confidential information.
Just to reiterate, the problem with consumer privacy is that once it already got lost, it can never be taken back. The internet can be used to greatly increase the level of exposure of a product, service, organization, or personality. On the downside, however, it can also be easily used as a tool to fool people, steal private information, and often, use them for malicious and fraudulent activities such as to steal real and or electronic money, among others . This is, in fact, why most people believe that the internet is a double-edged sword, because it can be used to do both good and bad things.
Additionally, and this is where the real problem often lies, commercial organizations often do not take into consideration the importance of increasing the level of privacy that they offer to their customers because most, if not all, of them perceive the process of doing so, unprofitable, or even unnecessary. The truth, however, is that these consumer privacy measures are necessary; it is also true, however, that these measures are not profitable and may even be considered as a form of liability to the companies since the process of promoting higher levels of privacy often impedes the accessibility and usability of a certain site or company process . Naturally, this goes against the principle that suggest that the more non-private or highly exposed an information about a company is, the better it would be for the sales figures of the products and services that it offers. It would certainly be hard to aim at higher levels of sales figures and at higher levels of consumer privacy at the same time because one thing goes against the way of the other.
People who use the internet are all expected to protect themselves and their privacy from malicious and fraudulent entities who may want to steal their private information because they really cannot expect other people, especially commercial entities to do it for them. In a world where almost everyone knows and needs to know how to use the internet, it is every man for himself when it comes to privacy . It would have been a lot easier to solve problems that are related to consumer privacy if there are profitable measures to increase the level of privacy of the consumers that the commercial entities can take advantage of.
Unfortunately, there is not a single one of that opportunity; in fact, most companies today, especially those whose main business operations have something to do with marketing and advertising, take credit and profit from decreasing the privacy levels of their customers—meaning, the more exposed their customers become, the more profitable these marketing and advertising firms’ business operations become.
The results and findings that will be obtained from this research shall be significant for the consumers, for the people who are fond of using the internet, for students, for professors and teachers, and for commercial entities. Students who are at the same time consumers of internet-based products and services, through the expected outcomes of this paper, shall be able to benefit from the complementary consumer privacy courses that would be offered in colleges and universities.
Research Procedure
The proposed research paper will make use of a qualitative research design. The researchers will gather information from the subjects by means of interview and focus group discussion sessions. The subjects will be selected using the convenience sampling method. All in all, considering that the research paper will be a qualitative one, the sample size would be small with a target number of five. These five research subjects should fit the following inclusion criteria: they should be enrolled in any bachelor’s degree course in any of the universities and or colleges that the researchers would visit. Ideally, only five people would get selected to be directly involved as research subjects in the proposed study. The objective of the interview and focus group discussion sessions would be to determine the five research subjects’ (all of whom are students) perception on or reaction about the idea of introducing a complementary educational consumer privacy crash course in their course syllabus as a form of solution to the increasing number of reported cases of identity theft, among other cybercrimes that are caused by poor levels of consumer privacy and consumer protection. After gathering enough information from the interviews and focus group discussions, the researchers would analyze and interpret all the data they have collected and based on their analysis and interpretation, create a final conclusion and a set of recommendations for consumer privacy advocates, among other population groups that may benefit from the results and findings of the proposed research.
Tentative Outline
- Introduction
- Background to the problem
- Consumer Rights and Protection
- Consumer privacy issues and how prevalent they are on the internet
- Criteria
- Educate internet surfers and users on how they, as individuals, can protect their own privacy
- Make them aware of the fact that they cannot expect commercial entities to protect their privacy since it would be counter-profitable to do so.
- Proposed Solution to Consumer Privacy Issues
- Educate internet surfers and users in universities on how they, as individuals, can protect their own privacy
- Create a consumer privacy educational program that would be available to university and college students
- Applying the Solutions to the Criteria
- Educate internet surfers and users on how they, as individuals, can protect their own privacy
- Create a consumer privacy educational program that would be available to university and college students
- Make them aware of the fact that they cannot expect commercial entities to protect their privacy since it would be counter-profitable to do so.
- Create a consumer privacy educational program that would be available to university and college students
Projected Conclusions and Recommendations
Works Cited
Culnan, M. and R. Bies. "Consumer Privacy: Balancing Economic and Justice Considerations." Journal of Social Issues (2003).
Ferguson, J. and J. Fries. "Consumer Attitudes toward Sharing Personal Health and Shopping Information." Marketing Theory and Applications (2012).
Juels, A., R. Rivest and M. Szydlo. "The Blocker Tag: Selective Blocking of RFID Tags for Consumer Privacy." Proceedings of the 10th ACM Conference (2003).
Lee, D., J. Ahn and Y. Bang. "Managing Consumer Privacy Concerns in Personalization: A Strategic Analysis of Privacy Protection." MIS Quarterly (2011).
Phelps, J., G. Souza and G. Nowak. "Antecedents and Consequences of Consumer Privacy Concerns: An Empirical Investigation." Journal of Interactive Marketing (2001): 17.
Xu, H., et al. "Information Privacy Concerns: Linking Individual Perceptions with Institutional Privacy Assurances." Journal of the Association of Information Systems (2011).

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