As the Internet of Things and artificial intelligence are more commonly baked into products we buy, more and more companies are “spying” on their customers. The companies use the data to learn more about customers and sometimes to provide a more personalized user experience. Not everyone likes this idea as you can see in the video below. Watch the video and read the article, “When Your Stuff Spies on You” (Fortune, May 23, 2017), to learn about how some unhappy customers are fighting back.
Is this unethical? What are the responsibilities of companies that spy on customers through their products? Most “inform” customers about this information gathering in that long, tiny print customer agreement that customers click “I read” and “I agree” (generally without reading). Should it be easier for customers to opt-out?