To introduce their App Tracking Transparency feature on the latest iPhone, Apple has created an ad. In it, a young woman is drawn to the doors of an auction of her Data, and with the touch of a finger opts out of the app tracking software. Though the commercial may be a bit tongue in cheek, it does beg the question, ‘could I really opt out of tracking?’ and ‘if so, what do I give up?’ and how will that impact my work or daily life? And of course, is it even ethical to track your users Data? In other words, you know Apple is trying to be more ethical in their user tracking, and they are just one of 136 organizations across 22 countries in 45 industries who are being honored for their commitment to integrity. Currently, in its 16th year, Ethisphere awards companies an ethics rating and does so across five categories – Governance, Leadership & Reputation, Culture of Ethics, Ethics & Compliance, and Environmental & Societal Impact with Ethics and Compliance the most heavily weighted of the five categories. So, let’s back up a little. What is ethical user tracking and how can brands track with integrity? Best Practices in Ethical User Tracking and Data CollectionIt’s important for companies to understand how their customer Data will be used. Be open and honest with your customer about what information you’re collecting and why. How will gathering your customers Data help you help them have a better experience? This is your digital handshake. Your chance to build a relationship with your customer rather than a strictly transactional occurrence. You want them to return to your website, right?Be transparent. Build trust. Acquire and retain customers. Repeat.But as with any endeavor, there are best practices to help ensure you’re on the right track when it comes to ethics in Digital marketing.Ensure your customer understands how the Data you’re collecting will be used.Keep your customer information secure. Be transparent how Data is shared.Allow customers access to their records to review, delete, or correct their information.Be cautious of third-party tools and only collect Data using programs that are proven to comply with industry standards.Digital Ethics and Privacy in a World Always OnlineBrands, marketers, and businesses know that to ‘know your customer’ through their Data is an asset. It helps them know who is most interested in what, why they might leave a cart, and what they want to see more or less of in advertising. On the flip side, customers are savvier than ever before and concerned about privacy – they know their Data is being tracked and that in some cases private Data can be breached for nefarious purposes. It’s about trust. Do you trust the company you’re giving your Data to keep it private and confidential? That’s the goal for many and a wide variety of companies work hard to ensure the integrity of your Data to build and maintain trust. There are ways to conduct ethical user tracking and its these practices many reputable companies stand by. For example, we mentioned Apple above doing their part to be transparent in their user tracking. Other nominees in the Ethisphere’s World’s Most Ethical Companies’ annual listing for 2022 include but are not limited to:AccentureDell TechnologiesHoneywellIBMInternational PaperMicrosoft CorporationLinkedInOwens CorningPrudentialWMThese companies are the tip of the iceberg and while some have only just begun their wins others have been on the list since the awards inception. If you want to make your mark with a business who puts their integrity first, this list isn’t a bad place to start.If you’re interested in AdTech, Big Data, Programmatic, Web Analytics, Business Intelligence (BI), or Data Science just to name a few, Harnham may have a role for you. Check out our latest Digital Analytics jobs or contact one of our expert consultants to learn more. For our West Coast Team, contact us at (415) 614 – 4999 or send an email to email@example.com. For our Arizona Team, contact us at (602) 562 7011 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. For our Mid-West and East Coast teams contact us at (212) 796-6070 or send an email to email@example.com.