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Summary of Developments in Information Technology and the Political, Social, and Economic Ramifications

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December 03, 2006

PAPA Framework for Amazon.com

As the holiday shopping seasons are approaching, Amazon's data collection method has increasingly become a morally debatable issue. Therefore, we will use the PAPA framework to analyze the potential problems involved with the use of this database.

Privacy By looking at the personal pages of a user's profile, we can see every product he or she purchased or viewed. Amazon uses this data to offer users recommendations for new products they may be interested in. Although this service might be useful to some customers, it may damage other customers that value their privacy.

Accuracy Amazon cannot assure complete accuracy within its data collection. In order to view or add a product to the wish list, users do not have to log in to the website. Therefore, data discrepancies can occur when various people use the same computer. This can totally skew the data collection Amazon and potentially harm both users and the company.

Property The information collected on the website provides Amazon with sensitive information. Amazon can easily sell this information to other companies that can use it for various needs. The question of who owns the data collected by the website is very important. Since websiter users never consented Amazon to sell this information, we belive that Amazon does not have the right to do so.

Accessibility When opening an account with Amazon, there is no explicit notification that Amazon will gain access to collect data from its users. Although it is legal for the website to collect the data, the accessibility to this sensitive information might pose as a threat for many individuals. Furthermore, outside source could gain access to this information. The information, which is kept on Amazon’s servers, is prone to hacker attacks and other security deficiencies.

Posted by orshotan at December 3, 2006 09:05 PM

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