Case Study #2: Facebooks Dilemma
1. What concepts in this chapter are illustrated in this case?
The concepts that the case study entitled, “Facebooks Dilemma” highlights out of chapter 10 of Management information Systems: by Kenneth Laudon & Jane Laudon are based around what is identified as Electronic commerce. Electronic commerce is the use of the internet and the web to perform business transactions more specifically, to perform commercial transactions between organizations and individuals alike. Facebook is what is known as virtual community, it falls under a more specific kind of virtual community known as a social networking site. Online ...view middle of the document...
Facebook is a tool from understanding that in terms of information density can and is exactly what companies would be interested in order to cultivate advertising to specific individuals. Facebook also has a global reach that spreads further and to more people than most other sites except for one, Myspace.com(Laudon pg.388). Because of its attractive simplicity and easy maneuverability to the user it is growing rapidly along with the e-commerce opportunities that it presents to businesses. Web 2.0 technologies is basically referring to applications that facilitate communication in terms of sharing information, however they are based upon user-centered design. Social networking sites such as Myspace.com and Facebook fall under that definition, and have become extremely popular to communities and individuals all across the world. In terms of business, businesses have exploited this free advertising by creating their own pages to allow the users of Facebook to explore information that they wish to share with a large amount of individuals. It is a platform for free advertising in that sense, however the case-study is more based around the creation of advertising that will produce a larger revenue stream.
3. Describe the weaknesses of Facebook’s privacy policies and features. What management, organization and technology factors have contributed to those weaknesses?
Businesses are interested in the information that is shared by the individuals through facebook in order to advertise effectively to an immense amount potential customers; however the users of facebook have a right to privacy that has in the past been violated by facebook in attempts to allow these businesses to advertise to their users. The example that the case study uses is the launch of a company’s advertising campaign called Beacon. The plan was for Beacon to inform other facebook users when their friends made some sort of economic transaction through the purchase of product and at the same time engaged in activity that was not restricted to facebook. The problem with this was that it was sharing information about users that was never agreed upon or intended to be shared. Another aspect of this service that was alarming in my mind was that it continued to fulfill the action of letting other users know what you were doing until you disabled it manually. It is what is known as an “opt-out” application. So unless you manually turned off the applications, it would continue to share personal information with whoever you were friends with while under the belief that Facebook had ensured the full consent of the users. Another privacy error that was incurred by facebook was the incorporation and handling of its news-feed feature. A quote from the Washington post solidifies the fact that the incorporation of certain applications is a cause for concern, “Facebook fanatics who have covered their profiles on the popular social networking site with silly games and quirky trivia quizzes...