Ethics can be defined as the moral codes, which eventually govern the behaviours of a person for conducting the various activities. These are basic concepts or fundamental concepts that define the right or wrong conduct of a human being (Noddings, 2013). Ethics proceeds in the dialectic manner after using the rigorous analysis for revealing the various logical flaws and reasoning contradictions. Ethics even seeks to go beyond the several flaws and contradictions. The most significant objective of this ethics is to guide a human being to make him alert about good or bad, vice or virtue and right or wrong. The ethical directives do not have proper clarity for every individual and hence these individuals often disagree on the right or wrong conduct (Frank, 2013). The report will be providing a detailed research on the significant case study of Facebook data breach. This report will be discussing on the three typical perspectives of applied ethics that are professional ethics, philosophical ethics and finally sociological or descriptive ethics perspectives. This case study is related to information and communications technology.
Facebook has suffered the most dangerous and massive data breach, which enabled each and every user to snatch the information of more than 3 million users. In May 2018, a personality quiz application, namely, “MyPersonality” was claimed to be exposing the various details to the third parties (Waterfield & Revell, 2018). It has been noted that this particular scam was going on since the year of 2016. This particular quiz application involved every detail of the user, such as name, date of birth, status, post, friend lists and photos. After taking the details, the users had to play a small quiz and as soon as the user clicks on the result button, all the private information was leaked to the third parties. This application was so dangerous that even after deleting the application, the information can extract every datum from the user’s profile. According to the cyber security experts, the only method for preventing this quiz from leaking the data was to manually delete all the cookies within the respective device. Moreover, the pop up advertisements, while playing this quiz, were the next vulnerable threats to the device (Waterfield & Revell, 2018). There were more explicit websites that could have easily utilized this flaw for extracting the data of the visitors and thus threatening to leak the search history in public. However, due to quick identification by a cyber security expert, the quiz application was stopped and thus such illegal activity was stopped.
Professional Ethics Perspective
The first and the foremost perspective of the applied ethics is professional ethics perspective. This particular perspective significantly encompasses the personal as well as corporate standards of the behaviours of human beings that are expected by several professionals. Each and every professional is subsequently working in various professions with special skill or knowledge (Fromm, 2013). The knowledge should be utilized in proper areas and should be governed only when the services are given to public. This is mainly done to consider the moral issues and is thus known as perspective of professional ethics. The most significant professions are divinity and law. This type of ethics perspective is responsible for making judgments, applying the several skills and finally taking important decisions within situations.
The major difference of this ethics with other ethics is that in this typical ethics can only be followed by the professionals and the general public could not follow this ethics since they do not have required knowledge and skills (Sorokin, 2017). Some of the professional organizations might be defining the ethical approaches in respect to several discrete and significant components. These components are honesty, transparency, objectivity, loyalty, accountability, integrity, confidentiality, law obedience and respect. The enforced codes of practice, which the professional members usually follow for the prevention of exploitations of the clients and even the preservation of professional integrity, are termed as the parts of professional ethics. With this scenario, not only the clients, but also the professionals are benefitted (Durkheim, 2013). The disciplinary codes of ethics eventually enable the professionals to define the several standards of conducts. Moreover, the individual practitioners ensure that these standards are met properly by the discipline of practices.
This particular case study of Facebook data breach that took place in May 2018 is considered as one of the most dangerous cyber attacks in the history of cyber world. Since, Facebook is the most popular social networking site in all over the world; this data breach affected the data of more than 3 million users (Dewey, 2016). The quiz application of “MyPersonality” was leaking the private data of the users and hence this was one of the major causes that the users were suffering. According to the professional ethics perspective, this ICT related case study is unethical, since Facebook was unable to save the personal and confidential information of their users. Hence, they were lacking of professionalism and they can be termed as unprofessional in nature.
Philosophical Ethics Perspective
The next important perspective of applied ethics is the philosophical ethics perspective. The philosophical ethics mainly concerns about the correct and incorrect, good and evil of the conducts of human beings. There are certain projects, which are using the perfect reasoning to answer various types of important ethical questions (Gatens, 2013). Each and every moral principle of the groups, traditions and individuals are subsequently checked and observed by the philosophical ethics perspective. The philosophical ethics can fluctuate either from cultural, personal and legal approaches or from the religious approach. This is substantially done by seeking to conduct the complete study of principles and ethics by rational and secular outlooks. The betterment or the well being of human beings is observed by the rational and secular outlooks.
The most significant advantage of this particular perspective of applied ethics is that here the demands of the individuals are avoided based on law and religion. The unpredictability characterization of the personal and cultural moral views is also utilized by this perspective. Philosophical perspective is responsible for resolving the ethical issues or wrong actions (Bennett, 2016). The case study of data breaching in Facebook states that 3 million users’ data were hacked by a quiz application. The moral principles were affected in this case study and thus according to the philosophical perspective of applied ethics, this case study in unethical.
Sociological/ Descriptive Ethics Perspective
Sociological or descriptive ethics is the third perspective of applied ethics. The descriptive ethics is solely defined as the significant study of several moral beliefs and disbeliefs of human beings (Biesta, 2015). This descriptive ethics can be contrasted with the perspective ethics and normative ethics and is observed on the basis of how people are acting. The social responsibility is considered as one of the major parts of ethics, in which the users or individuals are accountable for fulfilling each and every civic duty. The several activities of the individuals must be beneficial for the society and all the surrounding people. The economic growth of the society is also checked with the help of the sociological ethics. This particular perspective refers to the system, in which all the decisions or actions are validated before that action is being preceded (Ciulla, 2014). When this action is causing any type of harm to the society, it can be termed as socially irresponsible.
Each and every moral value is created with the ideology that whether it is correct or incorrect. This helps to reduce the chance of incorrect activities and thus all the individuals should be behaving in a manner that can be bring advantages to society. Moreover, the confidentiality of any data or information is ensured with the presence of social responsibilities (Tavani, 2015). This case study of Facebook data breaching was not socially correct. It was the responsibility of Facebook to maintain confidentiality and integrity of users’ data. However, they were unable to do so and according to sociological ethics perspective, this case study is termed as unethical.
Therefore, from the above report, conclusion can be drawn that ethics do not impose any rules or regulations within the authoritarian methodology. This methodology is not at all prescriptive since these are morals or principles. Ethics majorly deals with the factors that what should or should not be done and how the logical reasoning is being applied. The major reasons for requiring ethics are constant changes within the society for adapting the rules of conduct and social pressures for the individual rights and thus finding an optimal balance between collective rights and individuals. The sensitive and controversial ethical issues have a strong impact on the traditional approaches of ethics and have diverse viewpoints of any other aspect. There are four theories in ethics that are responsible for defining each and every aspect of human behaviour. These are utilitarianism theory, deontology theory, virtue ethics and contract theory. The three sub divisions of ethics are Meta ethics, normative ethics and applied ethics. The applied ethics is further sub divided into three perspectives that are professional ethics, philosophical ethics and finally sociological or descriptive ethics. This report has explained an ICT related case study with these three perspectives.
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Waterfield, P., & Revell, T. (2018). Huge new Facebook data leak exposed intimate details of 3m users. Retrieved from https://www.newscientist.com/article/2168713-huge-new-facebook-data-leak-exposed-intimate-details-of-3m-users/ Accessed on [08 Aug. 2018].