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The privacy protections, approved in the final days of the Obama administration, would have required ISPs to get permission from customers before collecting and sharing their data. However, President Trump signed off on a repeal of the Internet privacy protections before they were able to take effect — despite an outcry from consumer groups and privacy advocates.

Questions:
1. What is the “weird gray area” discussed in the article?
2. Why is the best hope for consumer protection at the state level and what states are currently involved in these regulations?
3. What issues concern you most about Internet privacy?
4. What are the advertising issues involved?

Source:
Fiegerman, S. and S. Larson. (2017) The uncertain future of Internet privacy. CNN, April 5 (Retrievable online at http://money.cnn.com/2017/04/05/technology/internet-privacy-future/index.html)

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Miss Kindergarten is in the million-dollar club. So are Lovin Lit, the Moffatt Girls and about a dozen other teacher-entrepreneurs who are spinning reading, math, science and social studies into gold by selling their lesson plans online to fellow teachers around the world.

Questions:
1. What types of things do these websites offer?
2. What are some of the negative aspects of these websites?
3. What are some of the positive aspects of these websites?
4. What is your opinion of these types of websites?

Source:
Thompson, C (2017). Teachers cash in Big time by putting lessons up for sale. AP News, April 13 (Retrievable online at https://apnews.com/3c2537fcbb2b470c8e652bf5481e4dc1/Teachers-cash-in,-big-time,-by-putting-lessons-up-for-sale)

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United Airlines, the Chicago-based giant at the center of a public relations storm for its forcible removal of a passenger from a weekend flight, has spent more than $41 million during the past decade to lobby the federal government, often battling consumer-friendly causes.
Questions:
1. What were some of these consumer-friendly causes that United lobbied against?
2. Is legal also ethical? Explain in terms of United’s current dilemma.
3. Perform a cost/benefit analysis on United’s current PR dilemma.
4. What have you learned about the passengers’ bill of rights for consumers since Dr. Dao’s ejection from United?

Bass, F. and D. Sirota. (2017). United Airlines Spent Millions Fighting Proposals To Protect Passenger Rights. The IB Times, April 12 (Retrievable online at http://www.ibtimes.com/political-capital/united-airlines-spent-millions-fighting-proposals-protect-passenger-rights-2524734

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Uber experienced the worst month it has had during its eight-year history in March 2017. There were car crashes, the company president quit, and an entire country turned its back on the app.

Questions:
1. Which country forced Uber to withdraw and why?
2. Which company is Uber accused of stealing from and what did they allegedly steal?
3. There was also an issue of sexual harassment. Explain the circumstances and how it affected Uber.
4. Should any of the events in the article be recorded in the financial statements of Uber and if so, where and what?

Source:
Cuthbertson, A. (2017). Why March Was Uber’s Worst Month Ever. Newsweek, April 3 (Retrievable online at http://www.newsweek.com/ubers-worst-month-ipo-577402)

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According to the Associated Press and USA Today, government investigators looking into how Google pays its employees have accused the tech giant of shortchanging women doing similar work to men.

Questions:
1. What are some of the claims?
2. Which branch of government filed the lawsuit?
3. Google has said it has turned over some of the requested records, but why has it withheld other information?
4. What other Silicon Valley company has recently been sued for similar discrepancies?
5. Should these types of actions be reported in the financial statements ? If so, how and where?

Source:
Staff. 2017. U.S. accuses Google of underpaying female workers. Associated Press, April 9 (Retrievable online at https://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/2017/04/09/us-labor-department-google-compensation/100258444/)

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According to CNN, New York just became the first state in the nation to make tuition free for middle class students at both two- and four-year public colleges.

Questions:
1. When does this program start?
2. What are the income caps in order to obtain free tuition?
3. What are the restrictions after graduation?
4. What three entities have recently made tuition free at community colleges for all residents, regardless of income?
5. Are any other states considering similar proposals?
6. Do you think there will be any accounting or tax ramifications for the receivers of these awards?

Source: Lobosco, K. (2017). New York just OK’d tuition-free college for middle class. CNN.com (Retrievable online at http://money.cnn.com/2017/04/08/pf/college/new-york-free-tuition/index.html)

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The world of retail is changing, with growth in online shopping dominated by Amazon. But does it signal a death spiral to our traditional way of life?

Questions: After reading the article, please answer:
1. What is the inventory problem?
2. What is the supplier problem?
3. What is the supply chain problem?

Source: Hoium, T. (2017). Brick-and-mortar retailers in a death spiral against online stores. Newsweek, March 28 (Retrievable online at http://www.newsweek.com/brick-mortar-retailers-locked-death-spiral-573694)

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The Pink Tax, so named because of the color of products directly marketed to girls and women, refers to the price difference for female-specific products compared with the gender-neutral goods or those marketed to men.

Questions:
1. On average, how much more do women and girl’s products cost as compared to similar products for men and boys?
2. What are some of the examples?
3. Discuss the issues of marketing costs versus time intensive costs in providing these products or services.

Source:
Ngabirano, A.M. (2017). ‘Pink Tax’ forces women to pay more than men. USA Today, March 28 (Retrievable online at www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2017/03/27/pink-tax-forces-women-pay-more-than-men/99462846/)

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Amazon.com Inc. has invited the world’s biggest brands to Seattle to persuade them that it’s time to start shipping products directly to online shoppers, thus bypassing chains like Wal-Mart, Target, and Costco.

Questions:
1. What would be the costs to these brand companies? What would be the benefits?
2. What would be the benefits to Amazon? What would be the costs to Amazon?
3. Discuss whether you think this would be a hard sell or an easy one.
4. What is Amazon’s threat if brand companies do not buy into this concept?

Source:
Soper, S. and C. Giammona. Amazon Wants Cheerios, Oreos and Other Brands to Bypass Wal-Mart. Bloomberg.com, March 30 (Retrievable online at https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-03-30/amazon-wants-cheerios-oreos-and-other-brands-to-bypass-wal-mart)

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Some of the country’s largest and most innovative companies are moving to bring their work-from-home employees back to the office. IBM is the latest example.

Questions:

1. What percentage of U.S. workers do some or all work at home?
2. Why is the change being done?
3. Why does IBM have research on their side? Explain.

Source:
Marks, G. (2017). IBM is ordering its work-from-home employees to stop working from home. (Retrievable online at https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/on-small-business/wp/2017/03/24/ibm-is-ordering-its-work-from-home-employees-to-stop-working-from-home/?utm_term=.22d275187e44)