Faculty Research: Isenberg Professors Dig Deep on Technology and Privacy
October 01, 2019
As technologies that can collect, analyze, and share user data are embedded into more consumer products and daily experiences, marketers and public policy makers face new questions about the most responsible ways to leverage and realize the benefits of this new reality. A special issue of the Journal of Public Policy & Marketing (titled “Marketing and Public Policy in a Technology-Integrated Society”) that tackles questions of tech and privacy from multiple angles was the brainchild of Isenberg’s George Milne (right) and Bruce Weinberg (below), along with Kristen L. Walker, marketing professor at California State University Northridge.
“We needed a framework to look at how society can balance new technology, and the need to limit harm that can occur,” says Milne, associate dean of research and Carney Family Endowed Professor. “It’s so important for business schools to take leadership on these issues.” He says that his own experience researching information privacy and Weinberg’s background studying marketing and technology led them to focus their efforts on the topics explored in the new special issue.
In the introductory piece (“Optimizing the Future of Innovative Technologies and Infinite Data”), Milne, along with Marketing Professor and Department Chair Weinberg and their co-editor Walker, write, “While there is much to be appreciated and valued in a technology-integrated society, there is much that is unknown or not well understood and concerning.” Using the example of cars with built-in GPS, Wi-Fi, and driver-assistive technology, they explain that the many safety and convenience benefits also come with the risks of a car being monitored or even controlled by a third party. “From a marketing and public policy perspective, the uncertainty and concerns associated with a technology-integrated society need to be identified, highlighted, prioritized, and addressed for a broad variety of stakeholders, such as consumers and providers.”