Chapter 8

Ethics, Law, and E-commerce

Learning Objectives | Projects and Exercises

Projects and Exercises

Project 1: Have You Been Targeted?

  1. Create a new e-mail account at Google, Yahoo, or another e-mail provider of your own choice. For three days, surf your normal websites, always starting at the website you used to create your new e-mail account. Record the types of advertisements you see.
  2. For the next three days, visit several websites that promote and/or sell a product/service that does not interest you but which you view as harmless (e.g., beach vacations, even though you never enjoy the beach).
  3. After the second three days, return to your normal websites, and record the kind of advertisements you now see. Compare and contrast the new advertisements with those in the first stage of this project. How have your visits regarding a product/service that does not interest you influenced the new advertising that you see? Present your findings in a short report or PowerPoint presentation. (Feel free to include advertisements in your report/presentation to illustrate your results.)

Project 2: Privacy Please!

Review the privacy policies of three major U.S.-based online retailers (such as Target or Walmart or another of your own choice).

  1. How difficult was it for you to find the retailer's privacy policy?
  2. Which website offers the most privacy to its customers?
  3. What specific passages in the various privacy policies support your conclusion?
  4. Does the information you have learned affect your decision to use these websites? Why or why not?

Include in your report a table that summarizes the similarities and differences of the websites you visited. Then compare the privacy policies to three comparable online retailers that are not based out of the United States. How do the policies differ? How are they similar?

Project 3: Are You Neutral?

Follow up on the discussion of Net neutrality on pages 606-607. Visit several sites that discuss net neutrality such as Save the Internet and the National Conference of State Legislature's page on Net Neutrality 2021 Legislation. Prepare a list of pros and cons. Then compare the situation with respect to Net neutrality in the United States with the situation in the European Union.

Project 4: Child Protection

Pages 608-610 discuss the relation between the Internet and public safety and welfare. Based on your study of Chapter 8 and your own additional research, prepare a short report that explains what additional levels of Internet protections (if any) children should enjoy over adults. You may want to consider issues such as free or low-cost access to child-protection software, increased penalties to websites containing objectionable material, the design and/or content of home pages of objectionable sites, browser design and privacy features, etc.