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Choose a recent news/media article that has been published within the last 3 months that concerns a business ethics issue/s within Australia only and answer the following questions using an essay style format:

1.Provide a short introduction and conclusion

2.Outline and summarize the arguments made in the article including relevant background/history and consider any legal or sanction implications.

3.Discuss the key ethical issue/s/ concerns raised in the article (this can include: corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, corporate citizenship,leadership etc.

4.In your opinion has/have the most appropriate ethical decisions been made? If so why? If not why not? Provide examples of other ethical cases to support your answer. (If a legal and or sanction imposed,was this (in own opinion) reasonable? Why/Why not?

5.Outline your ethical decision-making  processes aligning your opinion/decision by  identifying the most relevant of the seven moral philosophies outlined

Summary of the Article

The aim of this essay is to analyse the unethical incident of data breach in Victoria State government organization. In this case, the unethical actions of the cyber hacker in the Victoria State government organization has two different ethical aspects one is associated with the government’s incapability to work effectively and secure the accounts of the employees and another is the disloyalty of any employee for helping tin this data breach in the organisation. This essay will discuss the incident of 22 December, 2018 detailed in the ABC News, published in 1st December, 2019 (ABC News, 2019). It will also discuss the key ethical issues, initiative of the organization based on the ethics and morality and resolve this issue and best fitted moral philosophies for this unethical behaviour.

The ABC News of Australia has published the incident of the breach of data security in the Victoria government employees. This news covers the issues of unethical behaviour of a third-party agency which has allegedly stolen the details of the government employees in the Victorian region. This list had the work email, work phone numbers and job titles of the employees. This incident may lead to have an intense and dangerous future effect. Due to this data breaching process, the issues like increasing phishing, social engineering attempts and spam via the work email address as well as telephonic numbers. This type of risks is associated with the financial threats as the personal details of the employees can be accessed though the available data.

This news published in the first January, 2019 details the incident of 22 December 2018 when the third party accessed the list after compromising the employees’ account. According to the researcher named Suelette Dreyfus in this context has opined that this ind of data theft is not acceptable in the state government level (ABC News, 2019). This kind of data breaching often appears less harmful but causes more dangerous problems. This type of theft regarding highly personal and sensitive information relates to the account security of the employees. This dataset entirely can be useful for more targeted attack. In such cases, the researcher states, even a small snippet of information can help the cyber attackers to aggregate them and form bigger a dataset. This will eventually help the attackers to get a clear image of all types of data of the State Government entirely. This is due to the fact that the cyber criminals to get the information about all different people, their induvial positions along with phone numbers (ABC News, 2019). This enables the hackers to figure out the exact power centre in the state government of Victoria which they can use for affecting the government by targeting to hack emails of any employee.

Key Ethical Issues

In this case, there are two main ethical issues associated with data breaching of the 30000 state government employees in December. These two ethical issues are the unethical having process of the cyber criminals who have attacked the employee information and stolen data from the list the second ethical issue is associated with the government of Victoria. First it has failed to provide complete security to the employee information and secondly, it has not addressed the issues or risk on the part of the employees.

Ethics are the moral principles which effectively govern the behaviour and attitude of the people. This relates to one of the most critical parts of any cyber security defence strategy. In case there is no clear ethical standards or rules, the cyber security professionals will be indistinguishable from unethical cyber criminals against whom the business seek to defend systems or data. In this case of unethical data breach in the state of Victoria, the ethical issues of leadership have been seen (Mishna, Bogo & Sawyer, 2015). The government has not taken effective measures to secure the data of the employees. This can lead to the direct harm to the state government as well as the personal security of more than 30000 employees of the state.

In this respect another perception of unethical data breaching can be pointed out where the cyber criminals have stolen data from the list of the state. The data security system of these employees is the responsibility of some of the employees who can by any means be associated with this breaching process. The news does not refer to the fact that whether there are any measures of investigation in this incident or if there are any issues with the personal details given in the individual bank account of the employees.

The key ethical issues mandates to analyse the reasons why the cyber criminals actually indulge in breaching information of the employees of the state government, Victoria. The An unethical hacking process is an actions of data theft where the target of hack is not aware of it. This is done for breaking into the network systems and steal information and money. This can also damage the entire system of control by the authority of a business organisation or the government of a state or country. Unethical hacking of secured data has always been against the law and those who engage in such act are the cyber criminals. In this case, the unethical actions of the cyber hacker in the Victoria State government organization need to have proper investigation and punitive measures to restore data security for the employees.

Evaluation of Ethical Decisions

In this particular case, the organization is expected to address the issue of unethical behaviour of cyberattack regarding the data theft of more than 30000 state public service employees of the state. It is a case of data breach when a partial copy of the directory of Victorian Government employee has been unethically downloaded by unauthorised third party. This is respecting the government had to take responsibilities so that the employees do not face any type of problems due to this data breach (Schmidt, 2016). However, from the part of the state government of Victoria, any type of, measures have not been taken. The authority did not share any news with the affected employees who can be vulnerable for their personal data theft. The employees are not officially announced about this issue rather the government has only stated that the employees do not have any insecurity about their financial state (Crozier and Crozier, 2019). This does not make the employees quite satisfied with their situation. The government however does not take any investigative measure on this data theft case and there is no initiative to take punitive measures against the criminals (Dörr & Hollnbuchner, 2017).  

Among all the seven moral philosophies available in the ethical decision-making process are dignity of human life, autonomy, honesty, loyalty, fairness, humaneness and the common good. In this case of decisions main for the security of data of the state public service employees, honesty, loyalty and the common good are important (Pearson, 2017). All of these moral philosophies are associated with the virtue ethics based on which the government of the state of Victoria need to indulge in the decision making (Goodpaster, 2015). The virtue ethics can be the most fitted and apt moral philosophy for the Victoria State organisation. This has been a part of normative ethics that is related to the individuals as well as organizations connected with the virtues and moralities. The virtue ethics accentuates the ethical duties and the consequences of actions. According to this theory, the virtue ethics support the facts that the loyalty to the organisation for which one is working is necessary. It is the duty of the individuals to work ethically in the organization and protect the interests of themselves as well as of the others in a helping people in need would be charitable or benevolent (Crane & Matten, 2016). According to these specific ethical considerations, persons need to work ethically by being better persons for supporting the others. Virtue ethics therefore discusses the ethics of the people, eagerness as well as characters which are to be examined (Schmidt 2016). The people associated with the data breaching issue in their work place, are the most vulnerable due to this reason. Therefore, the government must do their duty to protect the information of their employees perfectly. This will lead to have a positive impact on the work environment as well as the work culture where the employees operate (Trevino & Nelson, 2016).

Conclusion:

Therefore, it can be concluded that the ethical issues have a major role to play in the incident of data breaching in the third-party agency which has allegedly stolen the details of the government employees in the Victorian region. This is a case of unethical hacking which has made more than 30000 employees of the state government vulnerable. In this case of Victoria State government organization, the government has not addressed the issue properly and did not take any initiative to mitigate the situation. Therefore, these can be termed as the unethical actions in the part of the authority.

References:

ABC News (2019). Victorian Government employees' details stolen in data breach. [online] ABC News. Available at: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-01-01/victorian-government-employee-directory-data-breach/10676932 [Accessed 25 Jan. 2019].

Crane, A., & Matten, D. (2016). Business ethics: Managing corporate citizenship and sustainability in the age of globalization. Oxford University Press.

Crozier, R. and Crozier, R. (2019). Vic Govt employee directory accessed by unauthorised party. [online] iTnews. Available at: https://www.itnews.com.au/news/vic-govt-employee-directory-accessed-by-unauthorised-party-517421 [Accessed 25 Jan. 2019].

Dörr, K. N., & Hollnbuchner, K. (2017). Ethical challenges of algorithmic journalism. Digital Journalism, 5(4), 404-419.

Goodpaster, K. E. (2015). Business ethics. Wiley Encyclopedia of Management, 1-6.

Mishna, F., Bogo, M., & Sawyer, J. L. (2015). Cyber counseling: Illuminating benefits and challenges. Clinical Social Work Journal, 43(2), 169-178.

Pearson, R. (2017). Business ethics as communication ethics: Public relations practice and the idea of dialogue. In Public relations theory (pp. 111-131). Routledge.

Schmidt, J. (2016). Melancholy and the care of the soul: Religion, moral philosophy and madness in early modern England. Routledge.

Trevino, L.K., & Nelson, K.A. (2016). Managing business ethics: Straight talk about how to do it right. John Wiley & Sons.

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My Assignment Help. (2020). Unethical Data Breach In Victoria State Government: An Ethical Essay.. Retrieved from https://myassignmenthelp.com/free-samples/hc2121-comparative-business-ethics-and-social-responsibility-4.

"Unethical Data Breach In Victoria State Government: An Ethical Essay.." My Assignment Help, 2020, https://myassignmenthelp.com/free-samples/hc2121-comparative-business-ethics-and-social-responsibility-4.

My Assignment Help (2020) Unethical Data Breach In Victoria State Government: An Ethical Essay. [Online]. Available from: https://myassignmenthelp.com/free-samples/hc2121-comparative-business-ethics-and-social-responsibility-4
[Accessed 03 March 2024].

My Assignment Help. 'Unethical Data Breach In Victoria State Government: An Ethical Essay.' (My Assignment Help, 2020) <https://myassignmenthelp.com/free-samples/hc2121-comparative-business-ethics-and-social-responsibility-4> accessed 03 March 2024.

My Assignment Help. Unethical Data Breach In Victoria State Government: An Ethical Essay. [Internet]. My Assignment Help. 2020 [cited 03 March 2024]. Available from: https://myassignmenthelp.com/free-samples/hc2121-comparative-business-ethics-and-social-responsibility-4.

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