Ethics and integrity in data gathering

Posted by on Sep 10, 2011 in american society, Information Technology, online marketing

Ethics and integrity are big concerns of my organization. We have four key areas of excellence: Team driven culture, integrity, creative enthusiasm and customer service. Operating in an ethical manner will typically result in meeting at least two of these areas if not all of them. Information is a unique commodity that requires a new perspective compared to what most would consider an ethical concern in the less-technology driven cultures in the past.

Customer information, data, and knowledge carry value and power – with that power comes a responsibility to use it in a way that reflects the values of the customer as well as the values of the organization; where those values are upright.

According to the article by Winn and Jondet, there is no current standard for handling information and communication technology (ICT) networks. ICT networks handle the expanse between consumers, suppliers and businesses. As such there is little that governments can do to regulate ICT networks, similar to how there are no large scale regulations for the Internet as a whole.

Ethics plays a pivotal role in how professional organizations handle the information the customers generate, it is counter productive to be inconsistent or negligent with the security of consumer data. Regulators and standard organizations offer programs that help promote standards, but there is little oversight in the long run.

For our organization, we handle the clients’ leads, phone calls and initial case interviews. The information we collect is extremely sensitive and very valuable in itself. We are obligated not to use the information directly, release any details outside of our organization, and responsible for protecting clients (and their clients) from any adverse affects that could result from their information being publically available.

For these reasons, there are a number of security systems – with multiple layers, to ensure as much protection as technologically possible. To support this mission even more, our security policies are very detailed, explicitly enforced and readily available.

Winn, J., & Jondet, N. (2008, December). A “new approach” to standards and consumer protection. Journal of Consumer Policy, 31(4), 459.

A. Chris TurnerAbout the Author: Chris Turner is also known as ChocolateSEO. CSEO is Chris' Nashville search marketing and consulting service offering a variety of services to help you, your company and any website maximize web-based marketing opportunities. He is the father of three girls, one boy (finally) and husband to the wonderful Savannah. Join the author's circle: Chris Turner on Google+.