Recently Waseem Saddique Marketing Services, along with countless other marketing companies around the world were introduced to the prospect of Prism, a US federal government initiative that apparently uses ‘backdoor methods, via major online businesses, to monitor private data and conversations without a warrant. This is done by phone surveillance and online tracking.
It’s unconfirmed as to whether the ‘Prism’ concept is in anyway related to the information exposed by ‘whistle-blower’ Edward Snowden, but what is clear is that the public uproar regarding ‘Prism’ has been nothing short of phenomenal.
Waseem Saddique comments: “Upon learning that ‘Prism’ has the potential to violate personal privacy, the public has reacted with outrage, firstly because they know little about Prism and secondly the very notion that something like this exists makes the public feel uneasy.”
Marketing moguls from across the globe best describe Prism as a third party online user tracking system; however where some fail to agree is whether it pushes the boundaries of privacy.
There is no doubt that Prism will revolutionise the marketing world if used primarily for gathering vital data. In theory, online tracking has been taking place since the dawn of the internet, but the tracking systems in place meant that those people that data was being retrieved from remained anonymous.
Marketing experts agree that whilst no harm, of a material nature, can come from third party tracking and targeting for targeted media purposes, Prism takes online tracking to a new level in being able to monitor conversations and record sensitive data.
Standard online tracking systems are in place to help consumers, by analysing their experiences of particular website services in order to enhance website performance and to assess advertising options that would be better suited to a particular target audience.
However, should the Prism tracking system be implemented, marketing companies and other industry streams could be flooded by consumer concerns about what data is being recorded about them. The potential impact of Prism on the marketing industry is that it will fall on marketing experts to educate the public about online tracking.
Waseem Saddique asserts: “According to ‘Social Media Today’ there are three principles to safe online tracking, including:
1. Safe tracking is anonymous.
2. Safe tracking is transparent, informing users of what’s private and what isn’t.
3. Safe tracking respects your privacy, protecting your personal content, connections and conversations.
The latest reports emerging about Prism suggest that the US Government is adhering to all three of these principles. However, the public and marketing gurus are decidedly sceptical.
Waseem Saddique states: “As a marketing professional myself, the members of the marketing community will soon find themselves awash with privacy queries over the Prism concept. What’s about to happen is that marketing experts are about to become educators about safe online tracking, just as the US federal government is right now regarding Prism.”