|Printed Black & White Copy
Based on their use of a shared computer and the Internet ads that keep popping up, two co-workers suspect that another co-worker is HIV-positive or has AIDS. Using this story platform, the case explores Internet marketing, especially the powerhouse search engine Google and how it tracks its users' habits. The history of Google is chronicled, as well as the privacy issues that have mushroomed as the Internet and its technology have developed.
1) To have students examine the ethical issues surrounding privacy issues that have emerged in the Internet age—relevant even with common practices like searching using Google. 2) To have students examine the ethical implications of new technology (which could expand from search engines specifically to include Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, and any number of Internet social networking sites). 3) To have students discuss the multidimensional concept of "personal privacy" and the "right" to privacy that an individual has, specifically in the business context.