Ivey Publishing

Computers in Society: Privacy, Ethics and the Internet

George, J.F. (United States, Pearson, 2004)
Prepared By Akbar Saeed, Ph.D. Candidate (Information Systems)
Chapter and Title Chapter Matches: Case Information
Chapter 1:
Computers in Society

Alexandra Hurst, Ken Mark

Product Number: 9B01C021
Publication Date: 4/25/2002
Revision Date: 12/16/2009
Length: 6 pages

Egghead.com is a chain of retail stores for computer software. A hacker has breached the company's Web site, putting up to four million customer credit card numbers at risk. The media relations officer must prepare a news release, wonders what media questions she should expect.

Teaching Note: 8B01C21 (5 pages)
Industry: Retail Trade
Issues: Communications; Crisis Management
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA

Chapter 2:
Views of Computing

Mary M. Crossan, Margaret A. Wilkinson, Mark Perry, Trevor Hunter, Tammy Smith

Product Number: 9B01M002
Publication Date: 3/5/2001
Revision Date: 12/18/2009
Length: 19 pages

The music industry has changed dramatically as a result of technological and business innovations that have transformed how music is acquired, and how value is created and distributed. Napster Inc. operated one of several Web sites that allowed Internet users free access to MP3 music files -- which eventually led to lawsuits around issues of the protection of intellectual capital. These issues lead to the examination of the forces at play in the transformation of the music industry, the strategic alternatives for players in the industry and the legal context underpinning the strategic alternatives, with a particular focus on the protection of intellectual capital.

Teaching Note: 8B01M02 (21 pages)
Industry: Arts, Entertainment, Sports and Recreation
Issues: E-Commerce; Strategic Change; Intellectual Properties; Industry Analysis
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA

Amy J. Hillman, Michael Slinger

Product Number: 9B01M016
Publication Date: 5/18/2001
Revision Date: 12/21/2009
Length: 16 pages

Napster is a creator of music industry software that allows peer-to-peer file swapping services and caused a fundamental shift in the music industry. The chief executive officer of the company is now faced with two challenges: how to convert loyal customers to another system without losing them and how to find a new business model in the wake of extensive legal challenges.

Teaching Note: 8B01M16 (6 pages)
Industry: Other Services
Issues: Industry Analysis; Business Policy; E-Business Models; Technology
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA

Chapter 3:
The Information Society

David W. Conklin, Yury Boshyk

Product Number: 9A99M022
Publication Date: 10/27/1999
Revision Date: 1/18/2010
Length: 17 pages

Like many other financial institutions, ING faces the challenges and opportunities of globalization. This case examines financial integration within the European Union, the attempt to harmonize regulations and the creation of a single currency. The Basle Accord establishes international standards for a financial institution's capital as a percentage of loans. There is currently an attempt to modify these standards to reflect the differences in risk associated with different types of assets. The case also examines emerging markets and the foreign exchange crises that repeatedly impact these countries. Finally, the case examines the shift towards electronic commerce and the possibility of entering new markets without having to build or acquire physical facilities. Students are encouraged to analyze these basic changes in the environment of business and to consider how these changes may impact the globalization strategy of a financial institution.

Teaching Note: 8A99M22 (7 pages)
Industry: Finance and Insurance
Issues: Globalization; International Business; Financial Institutions; Business Policy
Difficulty: 5 - MBA/Postgraduate

Chapter 4:
Computers and Organizations

Michael Parent, Debra Rankin

Product Number: 9A97E018
Publication Date: 12/5/1997
Revision Date: 2/3/2010
Length: 10 pages

Cisco is the world's largest, and leading manufacturer and distributor of routers and switches. In order to achieve this position, it has adopted an aggressive growth strategy, acquiring companies, their employees, and new employees at a rate of 250 to 300 employees per month. The Cisco Employee Connection (CEC), a corporate intranet, is the primary means by which new employees are absorbed and acculturated. The CEC is also the principal means of interaction for the multi-functional work team approach Cisco employs. This case critically assesses this approach to scaling an organization, and the extent to which it can be maintained and transferred.

Teaching Note: 8A97E18 (19 pages)
Industry: Manufacturing
Issues: Internet; Computer Industry
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA

Chapter 5:
Computer-Based Monitoring

Murray J. Bryant, Michelle Theobalds

Product Number: 9A98B006
Publication Date: 4/24/1998
Revision Date: 11/8/2002
Length: 20 pages

The head of the Clinical Resource Management Committee at St. Catharines General Hospital which was responsible for monitoring and promoting optimal resource utilization by physicians and the other staff at the hospital. While the committee had made some gains, there was little effect on the hospital's operating costs and many physicians were uninterested or resistant to the concept of utilization. In addition, hospitals in the region were faced with restructuring proposals and budget cuts in the near future. The case highlights the changes taking place in the health care sector and the implications for managerial analysis and control. Issues covered include: cost analysis, design of a funding scheme to promote certain behavior, data collection and validity, incentives, and performance measurement.

Teaching Note: 8A98B06 (8 pages)
Industry: Health Care Services
Issues: Performance Measurement; Management Accounting; Incentives; Cost Control
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA

Mary Beth Currie, Daniel Black

Product Number: 9B01TA09
Publication Date: 1/1/2001
Length: 7 pages

The Internet has changed not only the way companies do business but also the way employers treat employees. The authors, labour and employment lawyers, identify the important issues that have emerged and must be dealt with by both dot-coms and bricks and mortar companies. Amongst those issues are the use and misuse of the Internet, and employee privacy, which has come into question with employers' use of electronic monitoring. Other issues the authors discuss include the exercise of stock option on termination and the wording of non-compete provisions.

Issues: Organizational Behaviour; E-Business; Privacy Issues

Chapter 6:
Security and Reliability

Mike Wade, Jeffrey Clayman

Product Number: 9B01E019
Publication Date: 7/25/2001
Revision Date: 12/18/2009
Length: 9 pages

Microsoft Security Response Center (MSRC) is a key component of the security infrastructure for Microsoft, the large, internationally known software manufacturer. The program manager of the center has been informed by a hacker of a potentially damaging security vulnerability in a piece of Microsoft's Internet server software. Neither the hacker nor MSRC knows for sure if systems using the software have been compromised, but they do know that the vulnerability has been discussed in hacker news groups. The program manager must determine who should be told, what needs to be done and when. This case and the accompanying Microsoft Security Response Center (B) and (C) cases (products 9B01E020 and 9B01E021) look at the strategy to solve the problems and deal with any possible public relations issues that arise from it.

Teaching Note: 8B01E19 (5 pages)
Industry: Administrative, Support, Waste Management and Remediation Services
Issues: Strategic Planning; Public Relations; Internet Security; Risk Analysis
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA

Mike Wade, Jeffrey Clayman

Product Number: 9B01E020
Publication Date: 7/23/2001
Revision Date: 12/18/2009
Length: 1 pages

Shortly after the Microsoft Security Response Center found out about a security vulnerability in a part of their Internet server software, the Internet Information Server development team was brought in to find a solution. The team determined that a patch developed months before would fix the problem. They needed to notify the world's Internet users immediately to prevent them from being attacked by hackers. The team had to figure out how to keep the security vulnerability quiet, and then suddenly tell the whole world about it. This supplement to Microsoft Security Response Center (A) 9B01E019 extends the situation as new information surfaces about the vulnerability.

Teaching Note: 8B01E19 (5 pages)
Industry: Administrative, Support, Waste Management and Remediation Services
Issues: Public Relations; Internet Security; Strategic Planning; Risk Analysis
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA

Mike Wade, Jeffrey Clayman

Product Number: 9B01E021
Publication Date: 7/23/2001
Revision Date: 12/18/2009
Length: 1 pages

The program manager and his team at the Microsoft Security Response Center decide to keep the security vulnerability and its solution quiet over the weekend. They contact the Microsoft Premier Support Organization, which provides high level service to large companies, to get the solution to as many of their customers as possible, since large companies would be hackers' first targets. The bulletin was ready for release and as far as the program manager could tell, the problem had remained quiet. He had to decide whether to release the patch the following morning or wait until they could prepare the patch in many languages. This is a supplement to Microsoft Security Response Center (A) and (B), products 9B01E019 and 9B01E020.

Teaching Note: 8B01E19 (5 pages)
Industry: Administrative, Support, Waste Management and Remediation Services
Issues: Risk Analysis; Public Relations; Internet Security; Strategic Planning
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA

Derrick Neufeld, John Chettleburgh

Product Number: 9B03E012
Publication Date: 6/26/2003
Revision Date: 10/19/2009
Length: 4 pages

While an executive MBA class is listening to a guest speaker from the Cybercrime division of the Department of Justice, an associate of the guest speaker runs a packet sniffing program on his wireless computer and intercepts four computer passwords and two personal messages sent by students during the class. This demonstration surprises many of the students - believing that their network transmissions were secure. In response, one of the students prepared this note to help colleagues better secure their personal computers.

Issues: Computer Applications; Internet Security; Security Systems; Computer Management
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA

Chapter 7:
Part 2: Privacy

Daniel McCarthy, David T.A. Wesley

Product Number: 9B03E008
Publication Date: 4/2/2003
Revision Date: 10/19/2009
Length: 20 pages

Aspen Grove was one of the first companies to provide applications over the Internet in 1996. It was also the first application service provider to implement a functional system for the legal market. Despite an apparent first mover advantage, the company has had limited growth and it has not expanded its customer base much beyond its original legal clients. With one of the three founders tied to the development of software and support for the company's partner and another managing the company's European division, they did not have the time they need to fully develop the company the way they originally envisioned. Because Aspen Grove did not use a proprietary database or other proprietary technology, the company soon found many new entrants competing against it. Services were charged on a per process basis, meaning that clients only paid for services that they used. While this appeared to be low risk solution for reducing information technology expenses, many potential clients were reluctant to trust sensitive legal information to a small Internet company. With many Internet companies failing or being acquired by larger companies, trust became even more critical.

Teaching Note: 8B03E08 (5 pages)
Industry: Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services
Issues: Legal System; Internet Software; Women in Management; Northeastern
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA

Scott L. Schneberger, Ken Mark

Product Number: 9B01E005
Publication Date: 3/5/2001
Length: 16 pages

DoubleClick Inc., with global headquarters in New York City and over 30 offices around the world, was a leading provider of comprehensive Internet advertising solutions for marketers and Web publishers. It combined technology, media and data expertise to centralize planning, execution, control, tracking and reporting for online media companies. DoubleClick was able to track Internet-users' surfing habits (but not the surfers' identities) allowing it to personalize ads for specific market groups. When DoubleClick announced it was merging with Abacus Direct, a direct marketing company with a database of consumer names, addresses and retail purchasing habits of 90 per cent of American households, it raised many privacy-related questions and concerns. Several Internet privacy activists had filed a formal complaint with the Federal Trade Commission after being informed by media sources that DoubleClick had the ability to divulge a person's identity by merging the databases of the two companies and matching the information in cookies with a surfer's profile. The president of DoubleClick was confident that its internal practices were sound, but he wondered if they would placate advertising clients afraid of consumer backlash, the concerns of Internet surfers and the company's investors.

Teaching Note: 8B01E05 (10 pages)
Industry: Administrative, Support, Waste Management and Remediation Services
Issues: High Technology Products; E-Commerce; Privacy Issues; Risk Management
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA

Chapter 8:
Part 3: Ethics

Scott L. Schneberger, Emily Chee

Product Number: 9A98E017
Publication Date: 12/11/1998
Revision Date: 1/28/2010
Length: 11 pages

A proposal to give all pharmacists computer database access to the prescription histories of all British Columbians was meeting stiff media criticism over privacy issues. While the Ministry of Health foresaw many benefits of the proposed Pharmanet to consumers, pharmacists, and government regulators, many others felt access to so much information would lead to misuse or abuse. With province-wide implementation only two months away, the Pharmanet project director had to decide what, if any, additional changes to the database system had to be made to ensure public support.

Teaching Note: 8A98E17 (7 pages)
Industry: Health Care Services
Issues: Health Administration; Computer System Implementation; Ethical Issues; Computer Applications
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA

Chapter 9:
Part 4: The Internet

Sid L. Huff, Mike Wade

Product Number: 9A98E021
Publication Date: 2/15/1999
Revision Date: 1/28/2010
Length: 8 pages

Open Text is a small, startup electronic commerce company based in Waterloo, Ontario. Initially, their main product was an Internet/worldwide web search engine. Theirs was one of the first such search engines available to users of the web. There are two basic issues in the case: revenue generation on the Internet, and Internet culture. Open Text has come up with a revenue model which involves advertisers paying to have their web sites appear at the top of search engine results when 'bought' words are included in the search criterion. It is an innovative approach to revenue generation, and a departure from the traditional 'banner ad' model. One of the central issues of the case is whether Internet culture will allow search engine results, which are generally considered to be a free and 'honest' resource, to be influenced by advertisers. The case also provides a useful way to examine the issue of searching for material on the web.

Teaching Note: 8A98E21 (11 pages)
Industry: Administrative, Support, Waste Management and Remediation Services
Issues: E-Commerce; Internet Culture; Worldwide Web; Search Engines
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA

Chapter 10:
The Internet in the United States and the World

David T.A. Wesley, Henry W. Lane

Product Number: 9B02M014
Publication Date: 7/22/2002
Revision Date: 12/3/2009
Length: 8 pages

A student at a large Boston-area university would soon be completing a dual degree in Management Information Systems and Business Administration. She is the oldest child and only member of a Japanese family that spoke English and was learning to represent the family business, Kashiwa Tubing, with its international accounts. It was planned that she would eventually assume leadership of the company. During her studies she became a believer in the potential and reach of the Internet. She immediately set up a Web site for the company. Within six months, the Web site generated its first major sale, a $2.5 million order from Saudi Arabia. Recently, she had begun to negotiate a multi-million dollar deal with a Taiwanese firm. The company's Japanese headquarters recently forwarded an inquiry from Nigeria. The inquiry was from a member of the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing, proposed a business transaction that would, if successful, represent the largest single Internet order in the history of Kashiwa Tubing. Believing in personally meeting with customers and building long lasting ties, her father suggests that she should meet with this customer, even if that meant traveling to Nigeria.

Teaching Note: 8B02M14 (12 pages)
Industry: Manufacturing
Issues: International Law; Third World; Internet; E-Commerce; Northeastern
Difficulty: 3 - Undergraduate

Jay Anand, Garnet Garven

Product Number: 9A95M008
Publication Date: 9/29/1995
Revision Date: 2/18/2010
Length: 18 pages

The manager of a large Canadian company located and working in India is considering leaving his job and starting a computer software development and professional engineering services business which uses the Internet, low wages and highly trained Indians to compete globally. This case is designed for use in a module on emerging markets, global strategies, venture management or in an entrepreneurial course.

Teaching Note: 8A95M08 (12 pages)
Industry: Administrative, Support, Waste Management and Remediation Services
Issues: International Business; Computer Applications; Technology
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA

Chapter 11:
Social Implications of Internet Use

Sid L. Huff, Mike Wade

Product Number: 9A99E024
Publication Date: 6/24/1999
Revision Date: 1/15/2010
Length: 8 pages

The Euro-Arab Management School is an academic institution established by the European Union and the Arab League. The School is a 'virtual organization:' it does not operate bricks and mortar classrooms. Instead, programs are offered in an innovative manner which combines Web-based learning with local tutoring. The case deals with the concept of management of a virtual organization, and introduces some of the benefits and challenges of virtual organizations. The case also deals with issues of the future of education in the age of the Internet.

Teaching Note: 8A99E24 (3 pages)
Industry: Educational Services
Issues: Internet; Information Systems; Education
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA

Chapter 12:
The Internet, Government, and the Law

Christina A. Cavanagh, Ken Mark

Product Number: 9B01C040
Publication Date: 4/25/2002
Revision Date: 12/17/2010
Length: 6 pages

The Microsoft Corporation is one of the most successful software developers in the world. The company has been involved in an anti-trust suit with the U.S. Justice Department since the early 1990s and is about to launch the latest version of their combined personal computer operating and Internet browser software. The company, when faced with government intervention, must determine how to effectively rally support to fight the challenge and continue with normal business at the same time.

Teaching Note: 8B01C40 (4 pages)
Industry: Administrative, Support, Waste Management and Remediation Services
Issues: Relationship Management; Communications
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA

Chapter 13:
Digital Divides

Sid L. Huff, Harvey G. Enns

Product Number: 9A97E011
Publication Date: 9/12/1997
Revision Date: 11/18/2002
Length: 29 pages

Datacom is one of the first Internet Service Provider companies to be started in Mongolia. The company was sponsored in part by the Pan Asia Networking (PAN) initiative, a project under the auspices of the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), a Canadian Crown Corporation. IDRC believed that an effective way of promoting third-world economic development was through the development of Information Technology infrastructure. Datacom was PAN's first major project, so the PAN initiative and the IDRC had a lot riding on its success. Development of data communications and the Internet in Mongolia was especially challenging given the rudimentary nature of telecommunications in the country. The decision maker in the case is faced with questions of how to expand Datacom's service offerings following its initial venture into Internet services. Wireless communications and satellites provide a way around some of the obstacles, but pose other challenges in terms of cost and know-how. A technical note (9A99E010) on Very Small Aperture Terminals (VSATs) is available as a supplement to this case.

Teaching Note: 8A97E11 (12 pages)
Industry: Information, Media & Telecommunications
Issues: Computer Applications; Information Systems; Technological Change
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA

Madeline Choquette, Dickson Louie, Jeffrey F. Rayport

Product Number: 9B01A023
Publication Date: 2/15/2002
Revision Date: 12/7/2009
Length: 25 pages

iVillage.com was a successful Web site that served as a point of entry to numerous sites (or channels) targeted to a female audience. With a solid strategic vision and a network structure that provided consistency and control of the customer experience, the founders were rewarded by the site's favorable online presence. The company's business strategy relied on creating revenue through sponsorship and advertising. As the marketing industry had identified women as their single largest target category, iVillage.com had little difficulty in successfully pursuing innovative sponsorships and creative advertising. The pursuit for women's buying power also meant, however, that iVillage.com faced competition -- for both audience numbers and advertising dollars -- from numerous online and offline businesses. More women were accessing information online, driving the demand for more sophisticated Web sites. At the same time, iVillage.com needed to capture the audience that was currently offline and those who were about to move online. The founders must determine how to proceed in the face of increased competition, and how to achieve profitability.

Teaching Note: 8B01A23 (9 pages)
Industry: Other Services
Issues: E-Commerce; Market Strategy; Monitor
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA

Chapter 14:
Free Speech and the Internet

Henry W. Lane, David T.A. Wesley

Product Number: 9B02C051
Publication Date: 10/29/2002
Revision Date: 11/9/2009
Length: 15 pages

Yahoo Inc. was the second largest Internet portal worldwide and the leading Internet portal in France. After Nazi-era memorabilia was posted on one of its English-language auction sites, the company was ordered under a French law to block access to neo-Nazi content. Yahoo filed a countersuit, alleging that compliance would violate free speech, as guaranteed under U.S. and international laws. Angered by the company's response, survivors of the Holocaust charged the chief executive officer with war crimes, for supporting the atrocities of the Nazi regime through its Web site. The borderless nature of the Internet raises many issues for the company: conflicting laws and cultures of other countries, differing views on freedom of speech and suppression of objectionable material, ethical considerations and the impact of extraterritoriality.

Teaching Note: 8B02C51 (8 pages)
Industry: Information, Media & Telecommunications
Issues: Competitiveness; International Law; Ethical Issues; International Business; Northeastern
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA