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Develop examples of ethical and privacy concerns associated with data supporting business intelligence efforts.

You work for a tourism board at a top destination within the United States that, among other tasks, send information out to potential visitors, performs direct mailing campaigns, solicits newsletter sign-ups, and helps drive economic growth by attracting visitors to the destination. Your organization’s direct mailing team accomplishes this through email blasts, mailing flyers, and texting campaigns. The address list the organization has in place is seen as a strategic advantage. It has extensive information about potential and repeat visitors and has been compiled from various sources over the years.

The organization has recently developed a mobile application and hopes to leverage mobile devices and tablets to help make obtaining information easier for the visitors and collect more information on patterns of consumer behavior. Since the mobile application will have access to a great deal of personal information belonging to the users (email address, GPS data, phone number, etc.), it has been suggested this information be automatically uploaded to the direct mailing database, and signing them up for various promotional efforts and communications. It had also been suggested there may be an opportunity for the marketing department to partner with the local theme parks and attractions within the area, sharing the databases from each to form one extensive database to reach more users.

The idea has been presented to the organization’s legal counsel for review. The IT team is sure that the mobile application’s end-user agreement states the collected information can be reused and sold as needed. The public relations team has taken a different position. There is potential for backlash in social media and other public outcries should the data be sold or shared with other organizations and questions whether the data should even be stored since there are additional pieces of data being collected that have no purposeful use for the tourism board. They have asked for your input on the matter.

Prepare a report to the head of the public relations department outlining any possible risks associated with collecting and using the data in the manner described. The report should address the following:

Explain the general practices surrounding data collection that are relevant to business operations.
Describe any risks, issues, or problems associated with the ethical collecting and storing of customer information.
The end-user agreement says we CAN collect, reuse, and sell data as needed, discuss how data collection of private customer information could lead to a potential privacy violation and suggest what could be done to protect the business while supporting business intelligence efforts.

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