Module 5 - Case
The revolutionary impacts of IT
ITM434 - Bus. Ethics and Soc. Issues in Cmptng
Google is by any standards a huge corporation, generating in 2009, annual revenue of $23,651,000,000. At its core is its search engine, which processes over a million search requests every day. It is globally involved in the advanced development and application of multinational public cloud computing, Internet search and advertising technologies and its declared mission from the outset has been ‘to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful’. However, what is remarkable about this huge corporation is that its code of conduct ‘Don’t be evil’ as the key working reference for the initial constitution of their organization in 1998, and it is a working reference which has been maintained ever since, and all employees of Google are required to accept and follow the overall approach of “Don't be evil” and to behave accordingly. By strongly advocating an open ethos of ideals and ethics, Google have succeeded in encouraging loyalty, trust and working integrity amongst their employees and have continued to promote this important dimension of corporate life as both the public and the private face of Google. Google's position of increasing global dominance and economic power is beginning to reveal a few cracks in the facade: first, its flirtation with the Chinese Government's censorship regime though, to Google's credit, it subsequently disengaged from these censorship controls at the cost of the virtual destruction of its business in China. Second, its policy on ad words which some see as an encroachment on intellectual property; and, third, its denial of responsibility as a publisher for the excerpts reproduced by its search engine (although the provider of a search engine has no responsibility for search results, the law is nothing like as clear when the search engine reproduces material from the destination site). While...
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