Category Archives: ethical dilemma

Amazon Knows What You Buy And It’s Building a Big Ad Business From It

Description: When a chain of physical therapy centers wanted new patients, it aimed online ads at people near its offices who had bought knee braces recently on Amazon.

Source: NYTimes.com

Date: Jan 20, 2019

When a financial services provider wanted to promote its retirement advisory business, it directed ads to people in their 40s and 50s who had recently ordered a personal finance book from Amazon.

And when a major credit card company wanted new customers, it targeted people who used cards from other banks on the retail site.

The advertisers found those people by using Amazon’s advertising services, which leverage what the company knows better than anyone: consumers’ online buying habits.

“Amazon has really straightforward database — they know what I buy,” said Daniel Knijnik, co-founder of Quartile Digital, an Amazon-focused ad agency that oversaw the ads for the clinics and retirement services. “For an advertiser, that’s a dream.”  READ REST OF STORY

 Questions for discussion:

1. Do you feel that Amazon can out google , Google in its ability to target customers for advertisers?  Why or Why not?

2.  The size, reach, and power of Amazon are immense, do you see any problems with the worlds information being controlled for the most part by  3-5 ver y large tech companies including Google, Amazon & Facebook?  Why or Why not?

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Talkative homebuyers beware, the seller might be listening

Description: Real estate agent says clients used audio, video surveillance to eavesdrop on potential buyers

Source: CBC.CA

Date: Jan 16, 2019

Homebuyers should watch what they say during home viewings, according to an Ontario real estate agent who says two of her clients recently used cameras and microphones to eavesdrop on potential buyers.

Juliana Webster says the rules should be changed to force sellers to say if homes are under surveillance.

“When you go into a private home you don’t naturally expect [surveillance],” said Webster, who works in Hamilton.

The wrong sort of comment, she warns, “could be used against the buyer, like, if they said, ‘Oh, we would totally pay much more for the house.'”

Webster said she was unaware of the surveillance until her clients mentioned it. One offered to help a potential buyer who had been observed trying to use an appliance in the home. The other heard something that assured them the sale would go through.   READ REST OF STORY

 Questions for discussion:

1) “When you go into a private home you don’t naturally expect [surveillance]”?  is this true? why or why not?

2) Should there be a law to prevent surveillance in your own home during a home buying visit?  Could this not be a problem with any transaction, sellers or buyerse are going to try get an unequal amount of information before making proposals?

Intro to Big Data : Crash Course

Description: Today, we’re going to begin our discussion of Big Data. Everything from which videos we click (and how long we watch them) on YouTube to our likes on Facebook say a lot about us – and increasingly more and more sophisticated algorithms are being designed to learn about us from our clicks and not-clicks.

Source: Crashcourse.com

Date: Nov 14, 2018

Today we’re going to focus on some ways Big Data impacts on our lives from what liking Hello Kitty says about us to how Netflix chooses just the right thumbnail to encourage us to watch more content. And Big Data is necessarily a good thing, next week we’re going to discuss some of the problems that rise from collecting all that data. READ REST OF STORY

 

 Questions for discussion:

  1.  How is Big Data affecting your life? Can you give examples of how your privacy is being freely given by yourself to be used in Big Data applications?
  2. What are the benefits of Big Data?
  3. What are the risks of Big Data?

Music World Bands Together Against YouTube, Seeking Change to Law

Description:     A few years ago, the biggest enemy of the music industry was Pandora Media. Then Spotify became the target.  Now it is YouTube’s turn.

Source: Forbes.com

Date: May 31. 2016

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In recent months, the music world has been united to a rare degree in a public fight against YouTube, accusing the service of paying too little in royalties and asking for changes to the law that allows the company to operate the way it does. The battle highlights the need to capture every dollar as listeners’ habits turn to streaming, as well as the industry’s complicated relationship with YouTube.

The dispute has played out in a drumbeat of industry reports, blog posts and opinion columns. Stars like Katy Perry, Pharrell Williams and Billy Joel have signed letters asking for changes to copyright laws. Irving Azoff, the manager of artists like the Eagles and Christina Aguilera, criticized YouTube in an interview and in a fiery speech around the Grammy Awards                read rest of story

Questions:
1.  Do you think changes are needed in the in the copyright laws for the recording  industry?

2.  Do you feel these artists will will be successful in their strategy to capture every dollar from listeners of the digital product?  Why or Why not?

  Putting Mobile Ad Blockers to the Test

 Description:  To block ads or not to block ads on your mobile device? That’s the philosophical dilemma facing consumerssince Apple added support for ad blockers to its iPhone operating system

Source: NYtimes.com

Date: Oct 1, 2015

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We will get to the results in a minute, after a quick primer on the ethical debate surrounding ad blocking. While such technology has existed for years — it has long been available on PC browsers — ad blockers are new for iPhones and iPads. Using the blockers is easy: You download one of the programs from the App Store and then set your Safari web browser to enable the blocking. Ads are choked off inside the browser when you load mobile websites, but the blockers do not stop ads from appearing in apps READ REST OF STORY

Questions for discussion:

1. Are ad blockers a technology you would adopt?  Why or why not?

2. What are the ethical and commercial impacts of this technology?

Can Companies Can Learn Your Secrets?

Description:  “If we wanted to figure out if a customer is pregnant, even if she didn’t want us to know, can you do that? ”

Source: nytimes.com

Date: Feb 16, 2012

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As the marketers explained to Pole — and as Pole later explained to me, back when we were still speaking and before Target told him to stop — new parents are a retailer’s holy grail. Most shoppers don’t buy everything they need at one store. Instead, they buy groceries at the grocery store and toys at the toy store, and they visit Target only when they need certain items they associate with Target — cleaning supplies, say, or new socks or a six-month supply of toilet paper. But Target sells everything from milk to stuffed animals to lawn furniture to electronics, so one of the company’s primary goals is convincing customers that the only store they need is Target. But it’s a tough message to get across, even with the most ingenious ad campaigns, because once consumers’ shopping habits are ingrained, it’s incredibly difficult to change them.  READ REST OF STORY 

 Questions for discussion:

  1.  Are there any ethical dilemmas to using big data in consumer services?
  2. What other commercial applications can you see for organizations in using big data?
  3. What skill would you need to be able to use Big Data in an organization that you work for

The Real Threat Posed by Powerful Computers

Description: Elon Musk called artificial intelligence “our greatest existential threat,” and equated making machines that think with “summoning the demon.”

Source: http://www.nytimes.com

Date: July 11, 2015

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But if the human race is at peril from killer robots, the problem is probably not artificial intelligence. It is more likely to be artificial stupidity. The difference between those two ideas says much about how we think about computers.

In the kind of artificial intelligence, or A.I., that most people seem to worry about, computers decide people are a bad idea, so they kill them. That is undeniably bad for the human race, but it is a potentially smart move by the computers.    Read Rest of Story

Questions for discussion:

1.Should ethical standards be put in place before we allow industry to develop A.I. any further? Why or Why Not??

2. What benefits can you see with using A.I. as a company?

3.  If your company decided on a tactic of using A.I.  would it give your firm a competitive advantage?  Explain why or why not?