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Business and Professional Ethics Journal

Volume 36, Issue 1, Spring 2017

Caroline Moraes
Pages 79-101
DOI: 10.5840/bpej2016122853

Consumers' Concerns with How They Are Researched Online

Increased consumer usage of the internet has highlighted a number of problematic online marketing practices, including the use of online platforms to research consumers without full consumer awareness. Despite current debates regarding online research ethics from a marketing perspective, scant research has been published on consumers’ concerns with how they are researched online, which is a knowledge gap this paper seeks to address through qualitative research with UK consumers. This is an important yet neglected topic, given that consumer voices have been under-represented in the online research ethics debate over the years. The paper makes a significant theoretical contribution as it extends the ethics of care and responsibility to an online context, which can frame ongoing online research ethics discussions where problematic power asymmetries may exist between researchers and consumers.