Web transparency benefits consumers
Why Transparency is Important in Residential Proxy Acquisition
This is no longer a world where a business can hide its activities, nor should it. Customers read the news. They have heard of the major online data breaches, fake news, and changes in privacy regulations. And they demand more transparency from the corporations they deal with. As many as 86% of people think transparency is more important than it ever has been before. Consumers are skeptical of corporations and it can be hard for businesses to build trust in this current environment.
To provide the transparency that their clients and customers demand, corporations must also make sure that the vendors they choose provide similar transparency into their business practices. Many data-driven companies rely on third-party proxy providers for the tools they need to gather information from the Internet. But the proxy market is young and has not yet defined a clear set of rules and regulations, making transparency even more important when it comes to choosing a residential proxy provider that obtains IP addresses ethically.
What is Transparency?
Consumers have changed how they choose which corporations they want to do business with. For many products and services, consumers have options. Quality and affordability still matter to them, but when they have choices, they will look for a company whose practices and policies they can stand behind. They are contributing to a company's bottom-line and would rather have their hard-earned money go to a company that mirrors their beliefs and values.
With the growth of social media, companies and consumers have an unprecedented level of access to each other. And they expect this type of connection with every company they do business with. The nameless, faceless corporation won't last long in this environment. Corporate slogans and About Us pages are no longer enough. Consumers are looking for details on not only the products and services that a business provides but also the practices and procedures a business utilizes.
Lip service won't do either. Honesty is part and parcel of transparency. The stated values of a corporation must be followed by its deeds. Consumers are skeptical and will do their research and find the truth themselves.
Mistakes do happen. That is a given. But being transparent means admitting to these mistakes and rectifying the issue. By addressing issues immediately, corporations can maintain their customers' loyalty.
Transparency in Residential Proxy Acquisition
Residential proxies are private IP addresses. They are a necessity for businesses that do large-scale data processing and collection from the web. Using a data center IP can easily be detected and trigger blocking, captchas, or other methods that make the data collection process impossible. Residential proxy providers give these businesses access to private IP addresses so data collection is unhindered. They also give businesses the ability to do targeted data collection down to city-level IP addresses.
Here are some of the typical use cases for residential proxies:
- SEO monitoring: Local Google search results are based on location and Google is notorious for blocking automated requests.
- Market research: Scrape data on pricing and availability from any location.
- Stock market data: Track stocks in real-time.
- Competitor intelligence: Crawl e-commerce sites for competitor pricing without being blocked.
- Brand protection: Monitor the Internet for trademarks and brand mentions.
Proxies are also important to regular Internet users that simply want to maintain privacy and browse the Internet safely. The proxy market, however, has missing standards and clarity when it comes to how they build their networks of residential IPs. Just how does a proxy provider obtain all these IPs?
How Residential Proxies are Acquired
Residential proxy providers source IPs from across the country and the world. They get them from actual physical devices that are connected to broadband connections. These devices are owned by regular Internet users in residential neighborhoods. This can be laptops, desktops, or even mobile phones that are connected to a residential Wi-Fi network.
Proxies are created by routing Internet traffic through these devices. Usually, the residential Internet user will install an application on their device that provides this routing. Once a proxy user connects to a residential proxy network, part of the device's Internet connection and resources will be used to provide an Internet connection for the user from the device's IP address.
For example, a fair practice model would require that the network participants providing these devices have given their consent, and it is documented. Since resources are being used, they should also be rewarded for their participation in the network.
Best practices have been partially adopted in the residential proxy industry, but it not the model that every proxy provider has adopted. Some businesses even hide the fact that software is being installed on user's devices that will make them a node in a residential proxy network.
Best Practices for Residential Proxy Acquisition
Operating fairly and transparently is something enterprises need to require of their proxy providers so that they can achieve transparency with their clients and customers. While there are no rules, regulations, or set standards for the proxy acquisition procedure, there are best practices that can be applied.
Some proxy providers try to obscure the details of the application a user is installing. They may resort to using small print or embedding the details in an overly long “Terms of Service” form. While this may protect the proxy provider in the legal arena, this is not what transparency is about. People who choose to add their device to a proxy network should be given clear written consent forms that notify them they will be sharing their traffic with third parties.
An ethical proxy service shouldn't stop with consent. They should educate users about all the features that the service provides, how their devices will be used, who will have access to them, and what they will be doing with their access. The proxy provider should leave no questions unanswered.
Users should always know that their devices are going to be used by third parties and they will be sharing part of their Internet connection and resources. They should have an idea of how the use of their devices will be affected so they know what they are signing up for.
Users who add their devices to a proxy network will be providing valuable resources. It is only fair that they should be compensated. Transparent proxy providers will have a financial reward system that will benefit these users for their contributions.
Consumers demand transparency. They want to know the companies they choose to do business with have values and are conducting themselves ethically. This need for transparency extends beyond the corporation they choose for their third-party providers. Therefore, it becomes an enterprise's duty to vet providers to ensure their customers are receiving best practices and transparency. Your company's transparency is inherently linked to the transparency of the providers you choose.
Enterprises that do large-scale data harvesting and collection must use a proxy service provider to reduce the failure rate, blocks, and throttling. There is just no other way around it. But not all residential proxy providers do business the same way. Some use practices that can range from questionable to downright unethical.
Here at Spider, we believe in transparency and residential IPs that are 100% ethically sourced. Our residential proxy offerings will let you harvest the data you need to keep your business running without being banned or blocked. And without breaking the trust you have built with your customers and clients you have worked so hard to build.