Tag Archives: privacy

Is Privacy a thing of the Past?

Privacy. It is such a critical topic, yet it is also one that many consumers feel helpless about fixing. Who knows what we buy? What we want? Where we go? Well, as it turns out there a great number of companies, and government agencies, tracking us. And it is not limited to our purchasing behavior. There are a number of companies that can and do track the daily activities of employees also.

Everyone says they want privacy, but many people are unwilling or don’t know how to protect their online privacy. The issue is one that reaches beyond the individual and extends to the larger society. It encompasses devices including home security, smart phones, wearable devices, facial recognition, home speakers, smart TVs, automobiles, maps, social media, and more! And the crazy thing is that we often give permission to be tracked without realizing the implications to our privacy.

This is an issue that extends beyond consumer behavior and can also encompass how companies track employee behavior, beginning when we wake up and check our work email at home, and continuing monitoring activities throughout the day to track physical and online movement. Granted, some of the tracking is useful to protect against espionage and theft, but does it go too far?

Who’s watching who do what?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the issue of privacy in the Internet age. What are students’ concerns?
  2. There are several very compelling interactive graphics and videos that help illustrate this topic. Show these in class and have students take notes on each.
    1. It’s time to panic about privacy: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/04/10/opinion/internet-data-privacy.html?emc=edit_ct_20190411&nl=technology&nlid=6570397720190411&te=1
    2. Meet ‘Chet.’ His employer knows what time he work up today: https://www.wsj.com/graphics/company-tracking-employees/?mod=djemfoe
    3. Microchips for employees video: https://youtu.be/eX1KNlI40V8
  3. Discussion: Is privacy important? What can be done to protect individuals?
  4. Consider assigning students to research this topic. A number of interesting reports can be found at various sources.

Source: Bentley, E. and Krouse, S. (19 July 2019). Meet ‘Chet.’ His employer knows what time he woke up today. Wall Street Journal; Manjoo, J. (11 April 2019). It’s time to panic about privacy. New York Times.

 

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Microchips Under My Skin

Have you ever misplaced a key card that is needed to enter work? Or maybe can’t find your rail pass? Or as an employer, can you truly track access and secure a facility in this age of technology? But, what are you willing to trade for that security and access?

Some companies and people are now taking the step of embedding access into bodies through technology. They insert a microchip under the skin; with an embedded chip, there is no risk of losing access passes, or of being robbed of an important access pass.

It might sound a little like fiction (think, ‘James Bond’), but it is now a reality for thousands of people in Sweden. The microchips are designed by the Swedish company Biohax to make life easier and more secure. Those in favor of the microchips say they are safe, but others raise concerns about privacy, health, and hacking.

The chips are the size of a grain of rice and cost an estimated $180 per chip. Using a syringe, the chips are placed into the skin between the thumb and forefinger and have the capability of transmitters. For example, the chip can enable users to open doors, start cars, contain critical medical data, transfer personal data, and more. In Sweden, the largest train company has started allowing commuters to replace tickets with the chips. There is also talk that the chips could be used to make payments in stores and restaurants.

What do you think? Want a chip under your skin?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the buying process for organizations. Who would influence the decision-making?
  2. Show the Biohax site: https://www.biohax.tech/
  3. Show video of the product: https://youtu.be/eX1KNlI40V8
  4. What are the characteristics of the target market for this product?
  5. For Biohax microchips, have students work on the actions taken in each of the five steps.
    1. Problem recognition?
    2. Information search?
    3. Evaluative criteria?
    4. Purchase decision?
    5. Post-purchase behavior?
  6. What are key considerations in each step?
  7. Debrief the exercise.

Source: Savage, M. (22 October 2018). Thousands of Swedes are inserting microchips under their skin. All Things Considered – National Public Radio

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Home Delivery – Inside of the Doorway

Consumers are used to ordering goods online and then having packages waiting on the doorstep when they get home. It’s convenient, but sometimes it’s messy when packages are exposed to rain or snow, or when the neighbor dog plays hide-and-seek with the package, or if someone targets the house for a convenient theft while we’re at work. Sure, we can ask the neighbor to keep an eye out, but what if the neighbor isn’t home, or misses the action? While the costs of package theft has not been measured, one can assume the expense of stolen packages adds up for the shippers – and for the buyers.

Ecommerce companies have been working on solutions. Jet.com (owned by Walmart) is using a smart lock made by Latch to provide one-time home entry by using a code. And now Amazon has gotten into the game with Amazon Key – a $250 service that includes a smart camera made by Amazon coupled with a smart door lock made by Yale or Kwikset.

When the delivery arrives, the lock verifies that the driver is at the correct address and at the correct time. Amazon Key then starts recording video, unlocks the door, and records the entire delivery. It can even grant access to the home to other services such as Merry Maids (housecleaning) and Rover.com (dog walking).

Amazon key is currently available in 37 cities and is open to Prime members (who already pay $99/year for fast shipping and other services).

What will you have delivered?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss some of the problems that consumers have with delivery of packages.
  2. Show links and videos of Amazon Key:

Link: https://www.amazon.com/b?&node=17285120011&ref_=pe_3455630_258731250_em_ecg_bor_bs_ann_func

Kit: https://www.amazon.com/Amazon-Key-Home-Kit-compatible/dp/B00KCYQGXE

  1. Also show Latch’s solution:

https://www.latch.com/

  1. How does this service benefit consumers?
  2. Poll students: Would they use this service for deliveries? Why or why not?
  3. How should these services be marketed? Who is the ideal customer?

 

Source: New York Times, Wall Street Journal, other news sources

 

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