Business Ethics Dilemma

The Internet today is a major resource and tool for many people. Computers have been around since the 1950s’. However, the popularity of computers didn’t take off until the 1990s’. Many businesses today market, promote, and have their own website. This is important as it serves as avenue of business to promote their products, sell their services to their customers, and continuously inform the public on their performance. The Internet also provides various search engines in 2011 with popular search engines such as Yahoo, MSN, Google, and newer search engines such as (Microsoft) Bing.
This paper will ssummarize and analyze the ethical dilemma between Google and (Microsoft) Bing search engines. In addition, discuss why the behavior is unethical and the impact it has on the organization. It will also include the theory of ethics that explains the unethical behavior and suggest ways to improve the behavior to avoid the problems in the future. Internet When did the Internet start? Back in the early 1960s’, ARPANET was created by many sophisticated engineers, computer scientists, and mathematicians.
The ARPANET design allowed computers to connect, run on different operating systems, and without ARPANET, the Internet wouldn’t look or behave the way it does today, it may not even exist. As technology advanced technicians began making advancements with combing the ARPANET network to the Satellite Network (SATNET). The technical term for the connection between the networks is inter-networking or better known today for many as the Internet. In 1990, Tim Berners-Lee developed a system designed to simplify navigation on the Internet which became known as the World Wide Web.

As the years went by, and as the technology advanced so did the internet search engines. Microsoft’s full scale entry into the browser, server, and Internet Service Provider market completed the major shift over to a commercially based Internet. Google vs. (Microsoft) Bing On February 3rd, 2011 the Harvard Business Review has reported that, “Google has sparked a media uproar by alleging that Bing “copies” Google results and Bing unequivocally has denied it. According to the article, when user’s search information through the Bing toolbar the user’s browser sends information to Microsoft to collect data, track information and watch to analyze behavior patterns. The Harvard Business Review article also has reported the following, “Google staged a setup for gibberish search terms Google made up which caused the search engine to serve up random pages Google selected arbitrarily. Then Google told its employees to run Google searches for these gibberish terms, and to click the artificial results Google had inserted.
The employees did this on computers running the Bing Toolbar and IE Related Sites, so their click patterns were sent to Microsoft just as Microsoft’s privacy policy and other disclosures said they would be. Microsoft used this data to improve its search results to present in Bing results the links these users seemed to favor, again just as Microsoft said it would. ” Google is making an allegation that (Microsoft) Bing has copied their search results process through the use of the toolbar functionality.
According to the Harvard Business Review article, “Microsoft received user permission for these observations and information about users’ click patterns is users’ information not Google’s. ” In a post at WebmasterWorld, Google’s Matt Cutts, wrote as follows, “It’s my personal, unofficial belief that using toolbar data in the future to augment our crawl is not only a good idea, but specifically allowed by the original policies we posted. ” Ethical Dilemma
The dilemma here is that Google is not practicing in an ethical manner as their organization is making an allegation that Bing is infringing on their toolbar process and tracking user patterns is not appropriate. Based on the Harvard Business review Matt Cutts further said: “A good idea,” when using this method but now that Microsoft uses this very approach, suddenly Google argues it’s improper. Microsoft – Bing has the same right to use this method to track information and based on the Google Toolbar Privacy Policy it is disclosed that Google reserves the right to track and use pattern information to enhance their search engine.
Conclusion Based on the information in the Harvard Business Review article, Google has violated the ethical code of customer confidence. This is due the fact that Google is operating in the same fashion as Bing by monitoring activity searches through its toolbar portal to enhance the information that it is displayed through their website. This affects the employees of Google because the corporation is making a false claim, and this may leave a negative feeling with employees because the organization may not be completely clear with it s full disclosure policies.
Google could have been prevented these false claims by having an internal compliance team conduct research and with their findings could have advised Google on a better approach to address competition efforts from (Microsoft) Bing. This reinforces the purpose of having a code of ethics within an organization and that every employee of all levels abides by it.
References
Internet. (2011). When did it start. (2011). Retrieved on February the 6th, 2011 from: http://computer. howstuffworks. om/internet/basics/internet-start. htm Harvard Business Review. (2011). Google Policy. (2011). Retrieved on February 6th, 2011, from: http://www. webmasterworld. com/forum80/21-1-30. htm Internet. (2011). Internet History. (2011). Retrieved on February 6th, 2011, from: http://www. walthowe. com/navnet/history. html Ethical Dilemma. (2011). Google vs. Bing. (2011). Retrieved on February 6th, 2011 from: http://www. businessweek. com/managing/content/feb2011/ca2011024_853469. htm

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