The Do Not Track mechanism for digital footprint privacy protection in marketing applications
Serious concerns about the invasion of digital footprint information privacy due to intense commercial promotion through data mining has led to the emergence of privacy by design in the form of the Do Not Track (DNT) mechanism. This paper attempts to construct a theory to justify and find an appropriate solution to balance the different interests by implementing the DNT mechanism in the real-world marketing industry. The research method involves deduction in legal reasoning. This paper argues that digital footprint information privacy, which has high commercial value, should at least be awarded the status of a semi-fundamental human right. Additionally, when to adopt a DNT opt-out or default mechanism depends on the type of personal information involved. The practical implications suggest a compromise between digital footprint privacy protection and commercial applications in the marketing industry, to be achieved through technology. Since this important topic is relatively new in the area of marketing applications and no primary academic research has established a complete theoretical legal foundation, this article is among the first to do so. Beside its originality, this article also contributes to the literature by proposing a theoretically practical mechanism for both digital footprint privacy protection and marketing profits.
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