Consumer Privacy


Emerging Marketing Issues Related to Consumer Privacy, Special issue of Journal of Consumer Marketing; Deadline 30 May 2009

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Journal of Consumer Marketing – Volume 26

Special Issue on
Emerging Marketing Issues Related To Consumer Privacy

The Editor of The Journal of Consumer Marketing invites practitioners, consultants, and academics to submit manuscripts worthy of contribution to the literature for a special issue devoted to consumer privacy.

Recent developments in information technology and the growth of the digital economy have been accompanied by the rise of global attacks on identity and other security breaches. The result is to compromise consumer privacy. Despite efforts to safeguard consumer information, consumers are vulnerable to threats by hackers who seek to steal their identity, invade their privacy, and rob their wealth. On the other hand, there are legitimate uses for sharing personal or behavioral information. Employers may monitor computer usage or other behavior to document work activity. They may initiate random drug tests or search employees for ‘contraband’. Another entity, government, tracks the whereabouts of criminals, terrorists and those with mental illness, storing that information in databases. The widespread use of laptop computers and compact data storage devices exacerbates the problem. Even universities have made egregious mistakes in handling of information; certain alumni and student records, including credit card information, date of birth, and social security numbers have been stored on laptop computers which have been stolen. The theft of one laptop can lead to compromising the privacy of large numbers of individuals.

Marketers have incentives to monitoring consumer movements on the Internet. For example, a company may want to correlate their proprietary consumer information files with other data about their consumers. Doing so may provide information about the consumers online searching and shopping [habits]. Another common practice, data mining, could potentially lead to violation of privacy.

All data sources have been shown to be equally vulnerable to deliberate or inadvertent disclosure. In particular, the areas of health care, financial, and behavioral information remain sensitive. The implications of privacy compromise are potentially severe economic, social, and emotional problems. While much research has focused on privacy issues, new developments make the question even more relevant.

Possible topics will include, but are not limited to the following:

  • What is the state of health care information privacy?
  • Do consumers modify their behavior to avoid divulging private information that is potentially embarrassing?
  • What is the level of consumer vigilance in safeguarding privacy?
  • Do consumer concerns for health care information privacy drive legislation or does legislation drive consumer concerns?
  • Are there differences in awareness of privacy concerns between countries or cultures?
  • What aspects of health care, financial or behavioral information privacy are consumers concerned about?
  • What is the proper role of marketers in safeguarding information?
  • What are the legal and ethical concerns with consumer privacy?
  • What is the relationship of marketers’ ability to safeguard information?
  • What is the state of marketers’ ability to safeguard information?

Papers may be the result of empirical research, comprehensive literature reviews, case studies, marketing practices, or thoughtful analysis. However, to be accepted for publication, all manuscripts must provide practical applications of material presented. Author guidelines and other information can be found on the journal homepage at It is necessary that you follow these guidelines for your submissions to be accepted for review.

Final manuscripts (4 copies) should be sent directly to Dr. Richard C. Leventhal by 30 May 2009. No electronic submissions will be accepted.

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