Chapter 8: Ethical, Social, and Political Issues in E-Commerce


1.       Go to Google and find the Advanced Search link. Examine its SafeSearch filtering options. Surf the Web in search of content that could be considered objectionable for children using each of the options. What are the pros and cons of such restrictions? Are there terms that could be considered inappropriate to the filtering software but be approved by parents? Name five questionable terms.

The options for the SafeSearch include “Show most relevant results” and “Filter explicit results.” These restrictions are there so that parents can filter what their children search for on the internet. Sites that are considered objectionable would most likely be relating to text/photos of adult sexual behavior, violence and hate, drugs and drug culture, racism and intolerance, gambling, tobacco, alcohol, and cruelty to animals. The pros to such restrictions is if a parent doesn’t want their kids searching for these “bad” websites.  I can’t imagine parents wanting or letting their child search for such information, unless they are doing a research project for school, which is where the cons of the restrictions come into play. The cons of these restrictions would be if a teenager had to do a research paper on one of these topics but was unallowed to view the sites because there was a restriction. There are definitely terms that could be considered inappropriate to the filtering software but be approved by parents.







2.       Develop a list of privacy protection features that should be present if a Web site is serious about protecting privacy. Then, visit at least four well-known Web sites and examine their privacy policies. Write a report that rates each of the Web sites on the criteria you have developed.

Privacy protection features:

                -Passwords, device finger printing, cookies, a secure browser, and a privacy seal

Websites with privacy policies:

-Businesses, Online Banking, Google, or basically any site that you need a username and password to access.

A privacy policy is a statement or a legal document that discloses some or all of the ways a party gathers, uses, discloses, and manages a customer or client's data. It fulfills a legal requirement to protect a customer or client's privacy.  The websites above are equally important and should be protected by privacy policies. The privacy protection features help ensure that identities and or personal information aren’t stolen.  Personal information can be anything that can be used to identify an individual, not limited to but including name, address, date of birth, marital status, contact information, ID issue and expiry date, financial records, credit information, medical history, where one travels, and intentions to acquire goods and services.  In the case of a business it is often a statement that declares a party's policy on how it collects, stores, and releases personal information it collects. It informs the client what specific information is collected, and whether it is kept confidential, shared with partners, or sold to other firms or enterprises.  Usually you are only able to see/read these privacy policies if you are a client or you create an account with them.  For example, when you sign up for a google account, immediately after you create a username and password, the site will then ask you if you accept the terms and agreement which also state the privacy policies.  You can also find these policies within the settings of your account.