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Information and communication technologies have made globalization possible. But access to these technologies is not equal everywhere in the world, or even across Canada. Differences in financial status, education and skills, age, and geographic location can widen the digital divide. People and societies that cannot make effective use of contemporary information and communication technologies may have a hard time competing in the global economy and may find themselves at a disadvantage. What disadvantages might people experience as a result of lack of access to these technologies? E-Commerce Electronic commerce — or e-commerce — is an area that has been stimulated by communication technologies. Businesses like Amazon and Canadian Tire operate online stores where people can buy what they want, 24 hours a day, and have their purchases shipped to their homes. An online site like eBay connects buyers and sellers and enables them to buy or sell nearly anything. Enhanced Internet security measures have also promoted online credit card sales. Many major retailers and small businesses now earn substantial revenues from e-commerce. In 2005, online consumer spending by Canadians amounted to $7.9 billion. Nearly 7 million Canadians placed more than 50 million orders. The average order totalled $160. Travel services such as hotel reservations and car rentals were the most common purchase, followed closely by books, magazines, and digital products. Have you or members of your family shopped online? If you have, what goods or services did you buy? What factors inspired you to shop online? If you have not shopped online, what has kept you from using this source of goods and services? How are online shopping and expanding globalization linked?