Goals of Using MetaData 3
MetaData can be harmful to Consumers 5
Activities Regulation should cover 7
Goals of Lawmakers 8
Consequences of Regulation for industry 9
Appendix A 14
Industries have collected data on consumers for years, even before computers. This information was simple, name, address, and perhaps phone number. After the invention of the computer, it became easier to store this information and include other types of data. Lately, companies have the ability to store more information about their consumers. This can include the number of clicks on a webpage, the operating system that the consumer is using, and the location of the consumer. A graphic showing the type of information that companies gather and how it is used appears in Appendix A. This type of information has been called MetaData or Big Data (BigData-Startups 2013). As the public becomes more aware of what information companies are gathering they become increasingly worried about privacy. This becomes more of a concern when the headlines show that a company’s network has been breached and consumer information stolen. Politicians wish to pass laws restricting the type of data companies gather. Businesses counter that these laws will cause a disruption in business and prevent businesses from providing consumers more useful information and a better experience.
Goal of Using MetaData
Online retailers such as Amazon use MetaData to gather as much information about the consumer and use that information for personalization. They classify data in ways to make data retrieval and storage more efficient. By classifying the data properly, it can make tracking the data throughout its useful life easy. If a consumer stops shopping at the website or changes buying habits then the online retailer will know and old information can be destroyed since it is no longer useful to provide the consumer with personalized information (Raman & Beets, 2009).
This classification of data then can be used to help the online retailer to accomplish some goals. One use is to personalize the consumer experience. Consumers shop for different things on a website and it would useless to provide the same items or all consumers (Mehra, 2013). So, online retailers track consumers purchasing habits, how they arrive at a product, their location, and other things to give individual consumers customized content and promotions (McDonnell, 2011). Second, MetaData is used to provide better customer service. When a customer calls the representative has all the customers’ information and the information regarding his search history, comment history, etc. With this information at hand the representative can help the consumer find products or resolve issues better (Mehra, 2013). Third, MetaData is gathered from other sources. If a competitor lowers a price or changes a warrantee, then the online retailer has instant access and can respond by lowering their prices correspondingly or provide competitive discounts (Mehra, 2013). Forth, MetaData can be leveraged to detect fraud. By knowing consumer habits, then the online retailer can determine by the usage patterns if a fraudulent purchase is being made. On Amazon’s website, they tell consumers that they receive some information from credit bureaus to help prevent and detect fraud and provide financial services (BidData-Startups, 2013). Fifth, online retailers can keep better track of their supply. This information can be displayed to consumers to let them know if a product is available or how long it will take to get the product (Mehra, 2013). Amazon, for instance, uses MetaData to track 1.5 billion items around the world. Their catalogue receives more than 50 million updates a week and is reported back to all of its warehouses and websites (BigData-Startups, 2013). Sixth, MetaData can help with predictive analysis. This helps the online retailer identify