Write an essay according to the following instructions.
Your lecturer will provide few links for relevant articles and/or case studies. These will be available to you just after your second assignment submission date.
Choose one of the media articles or case studies listed by the lecturer in your Interact 2 subject site. Use the title of the article/case study provided in interact 2 as the title of your essay, so that the lecturer knows which article you are analysing.
Undertake further research about your chosen case, to assist you in analysing and discussing it in your essay. Analyse the article/case study from the perspective of four classical ethical theories including utilitarianism, deontology, contract, and virtue. Your essay should present well-reasoned arguments for your assessments and recommendations.
Advantages of Social Media
Social Media is a computer-mediated technology which helps the people to share the information, ideas, career and interest. Social media is a blessing to humanity; it is a more convenient communication source for humans (Whiting & Williams, 2013). It helps the businesses to develop international relationship through online communication. Social media made the communication a lot easier than ever before; now with a single touch people could communicate with each other. People use social media for their personal use; big firms make their own applications to promote their goods and services. Even people have started their business on social media by posting the pictures and sharing information on their web pages (Allcott, & Gentzkow, 2017).
It can be said that there are many advantages of social media but with the changing technology and developing communication an individual faces challenges such as privacy, security and crimes. Like in the case of Cambridge Analytica, Facebook leaked the personal information of its users to Cambridge Analytica. Facebook users faced the problems by losing their personal data. Cambridge Analytica used the data to predict the voter’s preferences for the political parties. Facebook users faced the problem due to steps taken by the company (Raicu, 2018). This paper focuses on the ethical issues of use of cyber technology. In this report, Cambridge Analytica’s case is undertaken to analyse by implementing the ethical theories. Utilitarianism, deontology, contract, and virtue are the ethical theories which are used in this report to analyse the ethical issues of Facebook. To solve the issues, recommendation is provided in the last section of the paper.
Deontology is a theory that focuses on the right and wrong actions; whether the action is right or wrong under the series of rules or it is based on consequences of the action. It is the responsibility of the company to do the right action for the social development or for the society’s belief. But in the case of Cambridge Analytica, the company used the personal data of users to predict the elections which are the wrong step taken by the company. It is a cyber-crime under the cyber technology (Gillespie, 2015). According to this theory, Cambridge Analytica used the data in a wrong manner which disturbed the user’s personal lives. Thus, the step taken by the company is not right for the users of Facebook but the company works for the political parties thus, the step taken by the company is right and beneficial for Donald Trump, and for the company itself.
Challenges of Social Media
From the analysis, it is recommended that the cyber system has to adopt new techniques to reduce the frauds and detect the crimes. This system helps the company to investigate the crime at the initial stage which can be easily stopped. As per the case study, it can be said that the Facebook used this system to keep the data secure from the third party. It also has to adopt the new technology from which only the users can see their own profile. And it is the responsibility of the organisation to make sure that the action taken by them is right according to the rules and regulation.
Utilitarianism theory refers to the greatest happiness which states the moral actions that maximise the utility or happiness of a large number of people. It is the duty of the company that it provides the services which make the people happy and live free. The company uses the external sources to manufacture products and services and earns higher profit. Thus, the company has a duty to think about happiness and benefits of its people (Mill, 2016).
In the case of Cambridge Analytica, the company used the personal data of users for the benefits of the company and for Donald Trump. It predicted the voter’s preference which helped Donald Trump in winning the elections. Cambridge Analytica earned great profits from this analysis of user’s data. Despite considering the happiness of the users, the company disappointed them by using their personal data without their consent (Staveren, 2007). Thus, it can be said that Cambridge Analytic and Donald Trump got the utility but the users faced the problems and they were dissatisfied.
From the above analysis, it is suggested that the people are needed to be aware about the security of their own personal data. It can be made possible by providing education to the people and spreading awareness. The government of the country can organise the seminars to provide education to the people to secure the data. Users can also take the advantage of technology by installing the intrusion detection to detect the hacking software.
Virtue theory refers to a character or mind to do one’s duty or doing the actions to bring the happiness. It is observed that Cambridge Analytica did not show ideal character towards its society. An online organisation has a responsibility to help the society in exchange of their ideas and necessary information (Hooft, 2014). But in the case of Cambridge Analytica, despite helping them it disappointed the users by leaking their personal data. People’s trust was broke towards the online communication and they were scared of losing their personal information. It is observed that the company is failed to perform its duty because it disappointed the people for its wrong steps. The steps taken by the company did not show the ideal character towards the society but according to this theory, the company has a responsibility to behave ideal like an ideal character which helps the society in its work (Gotsis, & Grimani, 2015).
Thus, it can be said that the company failed to perform its core and moral values towards the society. The above discussion suggested that the government has to take the steps towards such crimes and frauds. The government should punish the organisation for doing the illegal work. In the case, Facebook can offer the job for security networks at the higher amount which will help the company to identify the hacking software and protect the personal information. The government should also enter into legal agreement with the company at the time of establishment of the organisation.
Contract theory defines an oral and written agreement which is made by the people who live together in the society. There are some responsibilities which are necessary to perform by the company as well as the society. Society is the main driver for the organisation because it helps the company to achieve the success (Koszegi, 2014).
Thus, it is an agreement of the organisation with the society to keep their data safe and secure. But in the case of Cambridge Analytica, it cheated the society by using their personal data for affecting the elections. From this scandal, people got affected and disappointed with the company. According to this theory, Cambridge Analytica failed to perform its duty as per the agreement. The agreement defines that the company has to provide the services to people which is beneficial for the society. Facebook provides services to the society and entertains them but it also cheated the society which affected the personal lives of the people and forced them to think before using the social sites for communication (Schneble, Elger, & Shaw, 2018). Thus, the analysis states that the Cambridge Analytica did wrong with society and it is punishable. It suggests that the company has to take the legal steps towards the cyber-crimes from which the issues will reduce. The government should make the new rules and regulation about which companies need to be aware. Government can provide the incentives to the company for establishing the security network in the workplace.
From the above discussion, it has been concluded that cyber technology has ethical issues which disturb the personal lives of people. Cyber technology raised many ethical issues such as privacy, security, cyber-crime and others. As per the case study, Cambridge Analytica failed in performing the responsibility towards the society. The responsibilities and agreement are completely defined in the ethical theories. This scandal raises many issues such as privacy, security and others. People got affected by this scandal; the government should punish the company for its illegal work. To reduce these issues, the government should take the steps by changing the rules and regulation for online companies. Companies have to use the security system which can easily detect the hacking software and the people also have to take care of their personal data. Although social media provides many benefits to society; still people face the many ethical issues. This case study clearly defines the ethical issues of cyber technology faced by the society. Strict rules and regulation will certainly reduce these crimes.
Allcott, H., & Gentzkow, M. (2017). Social media and fake news in the 2016 election. Journal of Economic Perspectives, 31(2), 211-36.
Gillespie, A. A. (2015). Cybercrime: key issues and debates. Oxon: Routledge.
Gotsis, G., & Grimani, K. (2015). Virtue theory and organizational behavior: an integrative framework. Journal of Management Development, 34(10), 1288-1309.
Koszegi, B. (2014). Behavioral contract theory. Journal of Economic Literature, 52(4), 1075-1118.
Mill, J. S. (2016). Utilitarianism. In Seven Masterpieces of Philosophy. Oxon: Routledge, pp. 337-383.
Reamer, F. G. (2018). Evolving standards of care in the age of cybertechnology. Behavioral sciences & the law, 36(2), 257-269.
Raicu, I. (2018). Data Collection: “Harvesting” Personalities Online. Retrieved from: https://www.scu.edu/ethics/focus-areas/internet-ethics/resources/data-collection-harvesting-personalities-online/
Schneble, C. O., Elger, B. S., & Shaw, D. (2018). The Cambridge Analytica affair and Internet?mediated research. EMBO reports, 19(8), e46579.
Hooft, V. S. (2014). Understanding virtue ethics. Oxon: Routledge.
Staveren, I. V. (2007). Beyond utilitarianism and deontology: Ethics in economics. Review of Political Economy, 19(1), 21-35.
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