All that glitters is not gold: Digging beneath the surface of data mining [Book Review]

Journal of Business Ethics 40 (4):373 - 386 (2002)
This article develops a more comprehensive understanding of data mining by examining the application of this technology in the marketplace. In addition to exploring the technological issues that arise from the use of these applications, we address some of the social concerns that are too often ignored.As more firms shift more of their business activities to the Web, increasingly more information about consumers and potential customers is being captured in Web server logs. Sophisticated analytic and data mining software tools enable firms to use the data contained in these logs to develop and implement a complex relationship management strategy. Although this new trend in marketing strategy is based on the old idea of relating to customers as individuals, customer relationship management actually rests on segmenting consumers into groups based on profiles developed through a firm's data mining activities. Individuals whose profiles suggest that they are likely to provide a high lifetime value to the firm are served content that will vary from that which is served to consumers with less attractive profiles.
Keywords analytics  customer relationship management  data mining  marketing discrimination  personalization  price discrimination  privacy  profiles  public sphere
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Sven Ove Hansson (2011). Do We Need a Special Ethics for Research? Science and Engineering Ethics 17 (1):21-29.

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