Ecommerce Essentials Azimuth Interactive
HomeChaptersTable of ContentsChapter 1Chapter 2Chapter 3Chapter 4Chapter 5Chapter 6Chapter 7Chapter 8Chapter 9Chapter 10Chapter 11Chapter 12Resources
Table of Contents
Chapter 1: The Revolution Is Just Beginning
Chapter 2: E-commerce Business Models and Concepts
Chapter 3: E-commerce Infrastructure: The Internet, Web, and Mobile Platform
Chapter 4: Building an E-commerce Presence: Websites, Mobile Sites, and Apps
Chapter 5: Online Security and Payment Systems
Chapter 6: E-commerce Marketing and Advertising Concepts
Chapter 7: Social, Mobile, and Local Marketing
Chapter 8: Ethical, Social, and Political Issues in E-commerce
Chapter 9: Online Retail and Services
Chapter 10: Online Content and Media
Chapter 11: Social Networks, Auctions, and Portals
Chapter 12: B2B E-commerce: Supply Chain Management and Collaborative Commerce

Chapter 8

Ethical, Social, and Political Issues in E-commerce

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!

Go to and read the results of their privacy survey. Then review the privacy policies of three major online retailers (such as Sears, Target, and Walmart). (a) How difficult was it for you to find the retailer’s privacy policy?; (b) Which website offers the most privacy to its customers; (c) What specific passages in the various privacy policies support your conclusion?; (d) 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. Do you think the privacy policies of your group of retailers meet the criticisms of privacy policies outlined at

Project 3: Are You Neutral?

Follow up on the discussion of Net neutrality beginning on page 565 and then continuing on page 568 of the text. Visit several sites that discuss net neutrality such as Save the Internet and  the American Library Association’s Network Neutrality page. Do you think legislation is necessary to preserve Net neutrality? Prepare a list of pros and cons.

Project 4: Child Protection

Pages 569–576 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.