Consumers’ Perception of the Ethical Implications of the Utilization of Biometric Data in Targeted Digital Marketing

Franklin Ramsoomair*, Ankita Pandey**
*-** Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada.
Periodicity:September - November'2020


Biometric authentication is a technological tool that is a growing trend in devices such as smartphones. With these applications becoming more mainstream, more users may decide to opt-in and willingly submit their biometric data. A lot of the data that users supply is often used to help marketers personalize content and target advertisements to users online. This research will examine if consumers are concerned about the ethical treatment of their biometric data. Such treatment would involve an expectation of confidentiality. The information is obtained from subsequent authentication through digital devices, such as smartphones. However, there are companies that use the collected data to target online advertising. A survey was conducted online to gather information on how users feel about biometric applications. Once the responses were collected, a regression analysis was completed for various sets of variables to determine whether three hypotheses could be accepted or rejected. Moreover, inferences supported by the data could be made to a conclusion. A final outcome was established that consumers prefer that their data remain secure as opposed to it being sold to marketers and that they be well-informed of both the risks and benefits to releasing any information. It is recommended that there be terms and conditions before consumers submit biometric data that will outline the security and privacy measures taken to prioritize transparency, and that appropriate security measures need to be strengthened.


Ethics, Survey Material, Consumers' Rights, Digital Marketing, Hybrid Research.

How to Cite this Article?

Ramsoomair, F., and Pandey, A. (2020). Consumers' Perception of the Ethical Implications of the Utilization of Biometric Data in Targeted Digital Marketing. i-manager's Journal on Management, 15(2), 1-15.


[1]. Alterman, A. (2003). A piece of yourself: Ethical issues in biometric identification. Ethics and Information Technology, 5(3), 139-150. .22060.1f
[2]. Bachrach, D.G., Ogilvie, J., & Calamusa IV, J. (2016). Price matching: To match or not to match? More Than a Showroom, 93-108. 51894_6.
[3]. Ben Elhadj-Ben Brahim, N., Lahmandi-Ayed, R., & Laussel, D. (2011). Is targeted advertising always beneficial? International Journal of Industrial Organization, 29(6), 678-689. .03.002.
[4]. Bloom, P. N. (1975). How will consumer education affect consumer behavior? Advances in Consumer Research, 3, 208-212.
[5]. Catalyst, (2015). With Growth Comes Changes: The 2015 Canadian Smartphone Market. Retrieved from
[6]. Chen, P., & Hsieh, H. (2012). Personalized mobile advertising: Its key attributes, trends, and social impact. Technological Forecasting & Social Change, 79(3), 543- 557.
[7]. Council, N. R., & Committee, W. B. (2010). Biometric Recognition: Challenges and Opportunities. National Academies Press.
[8]. Erdem, S. A. (2011). Maintaining the security in internet marketing: Moving from biometrics to behaviometrics. The Review of Business Information Systems, 15(3), 43.
[9]. Fernandez-Saavedra, B., Sanchez-Reillo, R., Ros- Gomez, R., & Liu-Jimenez, J. (2016). Small fingerprint scanners used in mobile devices: The impact on biometric performance. IET Biometrics, 5(1), 28-36. /10.1049/iet-bmt.2015.0018
[10]. Gilmore, W., & Erdem, A. S. (2011). The future of online internet marketing: A solution to behavioral marketing using biometrics. Journal of Business & Economics Research (JBER), 6(2).
[11]. Graeff, T. R., & Harmon, S. (2002). Collecting and using personal data: Consumers' awareness and concerns. Journal of Consumer Marketing, 19(4), 302-318. https://d
[12]. Heinonen, K. (2011). Consumer activity in social media: Managerial approaches to consumers' social media behavior. Journal of Consumer Behaviour, 10, 356- 364.
[13]. Interactive Advertising Bureau Canada. (2014). 2013 Actual+ Actual 2014 Estimated Canadian Internet Advertising Revenue Survey Detailed Report. Retrieved from AdRev-Survey_2013-14.pdf
[14]. Mordini, E., & Petrini, C. (2007). Ethical and social implications of biometric identification technology. AnnaliDell'IstitutoSuperiore Di Sanità, 43(1), 5-11.
[15]. Olenski, S. (2016). For Consumers, Data is a Matter of Trust. Forbes. Retrieved from: s/steveolenski/2016/04/18/for-consumers-data-is-amatter- of-trust/#4913edf48047
[16]. Orenstein, D. (2012). Too Much Information? It Depends. News from Brown. Retrieved from https://news
[17]. Paul, G., & Irvine, J. (2016). IEDs on the road to fingerprint authentication: Biometrics have vulnerabilities that PINs and passwords don't. IEEE Consumer Electronics Magazine, 5(2), 79-86. 16.2521978
[18]. PIPEDA, (2016). The Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA). Retrieved from the-personal-information-protection-andelectronic- documents-act-pipeda/
[19]. Pons, A. (2006). Biometric Marketing: Targeting the Online Consumer. Communications of the ACM, 49(8), 60- 66.
20]. Renaud, K., Hoskins, A., & von Solms, R. (2015, August). Biometric identification: Are we ethically ready?. In 2015 Information Security for South Africa (ISSA) (pp. 1-8). IEEE.
[21]. Siciliano, R. (2013). More than 30% of people don't password protect their mobile devices. McAfee Blog Central. Retrieved from: https://securingtomorrow.mca devices/
[22]. Sterling, G. (2015). Survey: 99 Percent of Consumers Will Share Personal Info for Rewards, But Want Brands to Ask Permission. Marketing Land. Retrieved from: http://marketi info-for-rewards-also-want-brands-to-askpermission- 130786
[23]. Tang, H., Liao, S. S., & Sun, S. X. (2013). A Prediction Framework Based on Contextual Data to Support Mobile Personalized Marketing. Decision Support Systems, 56, 234- 246.
[24]. Tzaphlidou, M., & Pavlidou, F.-N. (2011). Biometrics applications: Technology, ethics, and health hazards: Special issue. The Scientific World Journal, 11, 529-532.
[25]. Ulman, Y. I., Cakar, T., & Yildiz, G. (2015). Ethical issues in neuromarketing: “I consume, therefore I am!”. Science and Engineering Ethics, 21(5), 1271-1284. /10.1007/s11948-014-9581-5
[26]. Yury, C. (2015). You're Doing What With My Data? LinkedIn. Retrieved from: /youre-doing-what-my-data-carrie-yur y?articleId=8 599399288329552059

Purchase Instant Access

Single Article

North Americas,UK,
Middle East,Europe
India Rest of world
Pdf 35 35 200 20
Online 35 35 200 15
Pdf & Online 35 35 400 25

If you have access to this article please login to view the article or kindly login to purchase the article
Options for accessing this content:
  • If you would like institutional access to this content, please recommend the title to your librarian.
    Library Recommendation Form
  • If you already have i-manager's user account: Login above and proceed to purchase the article.
  • New Users: Please register, then proceed to purchase the article.