Business ethics talk
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Invited academic talk for a Business Ethics class.

Invited academic talk for a Business Ethics class.

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Business ethics talk Presentation Transcript

  • 1. Business Ethics and Online Privacy Robert Bodle
  • 2. Recent ethics research on search engines and social networks
  • 3. Informational Privacy “ the control over the flow of an individual’s personal information” - Herman T. Tavani (2010). The collection and use of personal information by: -government -p rivate companies
  • 4. Informational privacy concerns increased by Internet - 1) amount of data collected 2) speed at which data can be obtained 3) duration of time info can be retained 4) kind of info acquired
  • 5. Online privacy - Introduction Look up your name on Google How about doing an image search? What about 123people.com?
  • 6. Thesis Statement: The ability of Internet companies to monitor and control our online data, has outflanked any privacy regulations of these industries. Research Question: What should be done about it from an ethical standpoint?
  • 7. Privacy Regulation: a comparative view EU – stakeholder model US – stockholder model statutory protections statutory protections, privacy policies enforceable by law self-regulated, largely unenforceable Responsibility placed on governments and industry Responsibility placed on the user
  • 8. The Privacy Act of 1974 Governs collection, maintenance, use, and dissemination of “PII” by Federal agencies Prohibits disclosure of info without written consent. But what about private companies?
  • 9. Privacy regulation of companies: a segmentated approach Enforced by the US Federal Trade Commission Kind of Information The Fair Credit Reporting Act (1970) Customer Credit Information Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA 1974) Education Records Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA 1996) Medical Records The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (1999) Banking Records The Children's Online Protection Act (COPPA 1998) Personal info of children under 13
  • 10. Privacy regulation online What about privacy regulation for the rest of us? Well, Rep. Bobby Rush, D-Ill., plans on introducing a privacy bill next week to include a “do not track” provision for customers/users. #weak
  • 11. Google and Informational Privacy
  • 12. Google and Informational Privacy
    • 2007 Privacy Watchdogs declared Google worst search engine in protecting user privacy:
      • cookie life
      • server logs
      • targeted ads
  • 13. What does Google Know?
    • Server logs – information about each search
    • 123.45.67.89 – 25/Mar/2003 10:15:32 – http:google.com/search?q=cars – Firefox 1.07;
    • Windows NT 5.1 – 740674ce2123e969
      • Internet Protocol address (unique ID, identifies the computer)
          • 65.27.213.xxx (Google redacts the fourth octet after 9 months)
      • Date and time of query
      • Requested page (including term searched)
      • Browser and operating system used
      • Persistent and unique cookie ID
  • 14. Google also records . . .
    • Clickstream data -
        • Search results and ads clicked through
        • Different kinds of data
          • Images
          • Videos
          • News stories
          • Book search
    • As well as . . .
  • 15. Google also records . . .
    • Account data from -
        • over 45 products and services in the cloud:
          • Google Docs
          • Gmail
          • Calendar
          • Desktop
          • Mobile
          • Etc.
  • 16. How does Google protect user privacy?
    • Privacy polices and user agreements
        • But this is just to protect Google
    • Consumer Education
        • Videos, blog
        • shifting responsibility of privacy protection to the user and away from Google and Fed oversight
  • 17. Consumer education videos
  • 18. Consumer education videos -manage anxieties -simplifies, obscures -no mention of other services Is this meeting the challenge of privacy protection in the cloud?
  • 19. Facebook's and privacy Facebook makes constant changes to privacy settings and introduces new services without providing the ability for people to opt out by default.
  • 20. Facebook's response to privacy? ‘ A -blow-forward pattern of disclose first, respond later’ (Hoofnagle & Zimmer) or ‘ here now, privacy later’ (ACLU-NC)
  • 21. Facebook and info privacy Newsfeed Beacon The App Gap Social plug-ins Facebook's real name policy
  • 22. Facebook and info privacy Newsfeed (2006) Beacon The App Gap Social plug-ins Facebook's real name policy
  • 23. Facebook and info privacy Newsfeed Beacon (2007) The App Gap Social plug-ins Facebook's real name policy Beacon was part of FB's ad platform, that tracked people's Web activities outside the SNS and reported back to FB on members' activities on third-party sites without users' permission
  • 24. Facebook and info privacy Newsfeed Beacon (2007) The App Gap Social plug-ins Facebook's real name policy Social games have access to players info as well as to one's friends’ profile information, making a player’s friends’ data vulnerable. The non transparent process of third-party access to member data has been called the “app gap” by privacy advocates (O'Connell 2009).
  • 25. Facebook and info privacy Unlike Beacon which broadcasted information about user's web purchases without permission, the “Like” button encourages people to volunteer their tastes and preferences. Newsfeed Beacon (2007) The App Gap Social plug-ins Facebook's real name policy
  • 26. Facebook and info privacy Facebook's real name policy deletes accounts that use pseudonyms, but it is dangerous for international activists to use their Real names on Facebook in countries like Egypt or Tunisia, for pro-democracy Purposes. Newsfeed Beacon (2007) The App Gap Social plug-ins Facebook's real name policy
  • 27. Facebook's response to activists? FB sticks by their real name policy even if it makes activists vulnerable.
  • 28. What kinds of PII do we share on Facebook?
    • Friends
    • News feed
    • Profile feed
    • Likes
    • Movies
    • Books
    • Notes
    • Photo Tags
    • Photo Albums
    • Video Tags
    • Video Uploads
    • Events
    • Groups
    • Check-ins
    • Real Names
  • 29. Facebook's revenue model Facebook is a free service that is supported by advertising revenue (as well as other contracts with third parties).
  • 30. Facebook's revenue model The more PII Facebook can solicit, collect and share about us, the more $$ it can charge advertisers for targeted ad placements.
  • 31. Facebook's response to user privacy? Self-regulation . . Or lack thereof.
  • 32. Informational privacy and social implications
    • When we share our information online to companies like Google and Facebook we lose our informational self-determination or
    • -the ability to:
        • enjoy freedom from interference
        • make informed decisions
        • anticipate consequences*
  • 33. Informational privacy and social implications
    • Consequences -
    • Tarnished reputations
    • Lost jobs
    • Personal Safety (cyberbullying, stalking)
    • Revoked Visas
    • Imprisonment
  • 34. Discussion 1) How do you think privacy should be regulated for social networks and search engines? Self-Regulation? User Responsibility? Industry regulated and enforced by government? All three? 2) What ethical framework supports your view ? Utilitarian? categorical imperative? virtue ethics/professional ethics?
  • 35. Business Ethics and Online Privacy Robert Bodle