M5 Discussion – When is convergence too much?

Most of us are comfortable with our smart system devices allowing convergence to find us a timely deal at our favorite restaurant using a location-based app on our smartphone. You might even appreciate if Google’s database automatically proposed an “ideal vacation” for you based on your normal preferences.
Should we be concerned, then, if retailers placed sensors throughout their stores to track us by following signals emitted from Wi-Fi enabled smartphones?  Consider the following statistics that may unnerve you:

  • 2,000-plus – Estimated number of times the online activity of an average Internet user is tracked every day
  • 3,000-plus – Number of “shopping tendencies” Acxiom Corp., a leading data broker, says it can measure for every U.S. household.
  • 700 million – Approximate number of adult consumers in the Acxiom global database.

About 68% of Internet users feel unprotected by current privacy laws.  So, 86% of them used privacy technologies to remove or mask their digital data. Internet privacy is a recurring discussion in Congress, the FCC, and the FTC as they struggle to determine the right balance of consumer and business interests. For this discussion I would like to know what are your thoughts on online privacy by addressing these prompts.

  • Is it government’s job to deal with this issue?
  • Should Internet marketers adopt and self-regulate privacy protection policies?
  • Must consumers be responsible for securing private technologies to safeguard their data?

Discussion Instructions

This discussion is intended to help you further explore and think critically about the information you are reading and viewing. You are expected to be an active participant in the discussion, and meet the minimum criteria of one (“main”) substantive initial posting of around 150 – 200 words and several thoughtful, well-supported responses of approximately 100 – 125 words. Each discussion response must be spell checked, well-written and cite references in support of arguments. For further explanation on how you are graded review the Discussion Rubric.

How to get the highest grade for your discussion participation

I expect you to begin with the main submission, with your answers to all or at least some of the questions asked (3-5 paragraphs). It is a good idea to provide references to the recommended textbook, as well as external (relevant and reliable) sources. This is seen as an equivalent to a brief, 10-15 min classroom presentation based on your homework. It is better to post your main submission earlier, as it will leave some room for your classmates to read and respond. In addition to the main submission, I expect you to read other students’ postings, ask them questions and share your thoughts and ideas. Overall, I expect you to post 2-3 times per week. Brief remarks (“Good point!”) are welcome but they won’t give you any points. I am interested in learning about your opinion on the subject matter – but if only your opinion is informed by 1) the assigned readings; 2) other authoritative sources; 3) relevant practical experience.
How to respond to other people postings: Treat it as a conversation. (Think about how you would feel if you made an observation in a traditional classroom setting and no one responded!) You need to “come to class” at least twice a week to read through the discussion responses. Your responses should be well thought out, concise, and to the point. Responses should indicate that you have critically thought about the discussion question and demonstrate that you can apply and articulate the knowledge you are learning. Your responses should be well organized and grammatically correct. They should reveal a solid understanding of the topic and should demonstrate that you have critically analyzed the topic. Substantive responses don’t just deliver opinions, but also offer justification for them.
Examples of a High Quality Response: A high quality response teaches something, or adds something substantial to the discussion. It contains information from a textbook or another valid source, or applies a concept from the text or a quality website in a meaningful way, or facilitates understanding of the course material. The highest quality responses not only introduce a new idea or knowledge, but help class members relate it to what they are studying in the module.
Example of a Low Quality Response: A low quality response does not teach us anything, or contribute anything substantial to the discussion. Responses that state an unsubstantiated opinion, are carelessly typed, poorly thought-out, or disrespect another student are considered low quality.