Ethics in E-Commerce

Topics: World Wide Web, Internet, Web 2.0 Pages: 2 (685 words) Published: March 17, 2010
The web environment is quite different from that of the traditional brick and mortar businesses. The very nature of e-business necessitates the need for things to be viewed from a different perspective. An important contemplation is whether ethics needs to be considered, and if so, the development and implementation of policies that would support that need should be explored.

In comparing the way business is transacted via the Web to that of a traditional business, one area of interest is privacy. Since the web is hinged on the collection of information it is a real threat to privacy. Information is shared online daily but often the designated receiver is not the only receiver of that shared information. In B2B situations everything from employee records and payroll to customer accounts and payments can be handled online which makes it subject to interception which could potentially lead to numerous problems. Within the business setting, emails containing private information are also potential problems in two unique ways. When employees send personal information and receive personal information in email, there is a possibility that some of the content may be less than professional in nature. Another potential problem is that the email could be sent to the wrong recipient within the company or without.

Security is another area of concern. In home based e-businesses computers and files need to be properly stored and locked. In the event of any home burglary or ethically-challenged house guests, mechanisms need to be in place to guard and protect electronically stored information and files.

The problem with setting policies on ethics in Web based businesses is that the standards are unclear. There is a relatively short track record to use as a model and even that is too inconsistent because the technological advancements are so dynamic that they keep evolving. Once some procedure or rule had been set, it quickly becomes obsolete when the potential threat...
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