Maker Of Smartphone Surveillance App Fined And Avoids Jail Time Essay

Question:

Write an essay on "Maker; of Smartphone Surveillance App Fined and Avoids Jail Time".

Answer:

Introduction

Ethics as a branch of philosophy that allows people to critically examine their own arguments and intuitions about any vital issue; however, the establishment of a clear cut to those arguments may seem to be obvious at first glance (Alexander & Miller, 2009). Hence, the application of ethics normally looks at the development one has in asking and answering questions as it is from them learning from the answers that other people offer suggestions (Szerletics, 2015). Therefore, in the application of ethics look at the world in a different way and try to find out coherent and rational answers to the questions people ask about the society.

The Scenario

Maker; of Smartphone Surveillance App Fined and Avoids Jail Time

The case that I will be looking at is that of the first surveillance app that was used to track and catch cheating spouses by listening to their calls. The 31-year-old Hammad Akbar admitted before the court that he had broken the law without knowledge. The case against this young CEO was one of its kind, this is because there existed no other surveillance app in the technological market of Smartphone’s. In his defense he states that if he knew he was committing unlawful act he couldn’t have developed the app. Therefore, the prosecutor decided instead of him serving a jail term he should pay more than half a million dollars.

The Stakeholders:

Therefore, in developing our argument the question that we should ask ourselves is whether it is ethically rights to keep surveillance of our spouses using the app developed by Hammad. According to some prosecutors in this case they argue that hundreds of people globally have been monitored through the app. An estimate was taken and it was believed that ten of thousand were still going to be monitored using the app. Therefore, ethically we can conclude that the development of the app tends to affect privacy and confidentiality of individuals which isn’t good for many people.

Looking at some ethical definitions of the terms privacy and confidentiality, Privacy takes the definition of control over the extent of timing and sharing of a particular circumstance. Therefore, privacy is the rights an individual has and is limited to access by others, and by law privacy is considered to be a human basic right (In Coons & In Weber, 2013). On the other hand, confidentiality is the act of protecting a person’s privacy. Hence, looking at the above given definitions what can be ethically certain is that the development of the surveillance app is ethically wrong this is because it interferes with a person’s basic human right of privacy according to law.

Non-Ethical Issues

The Utilitarian’s who are part of the classical theory tends to argue that the establishment of privacy comes out to be a universal value. Therefore, it is necessarily connected to some important aspects like dignity and well-being (Robins & Jones, 2009). Therefore, their absolutist view of privacy value tends to be absolutely essential. Hence, the response of their arguments is that they focus on individuals who have achieved well-being and dignity in the society which fail to have any amount of privacy that we can value (Oxley, 2011). Relating our case of the surveillance app with the Utilitarian’s view it becomes certain that the CEO actions were ethically wrong. Take the example of a person who uses the app for the wrong purposes to monitor or keep track of another person so as to lower his dignity. Therefore, if he succeeds in ruining the dignity and well-being of the person it means the app is a threat to the community. Hence, such an act will lead to the disconnection between universal values that are necessary in the society so as to connect the vital moral features and dignity of individuals.

Ethical Issues

Ethically the development of the surveillance app tends to affect confidentiality. According to some researchers they pertain that it is vital for one to protect and safeguard information that has been entrusted to him, and he shouldn’t misuse or wrongfully disclose the information. Hence, there is the need of maintaining a promise of confidentiality. Therefore, ethically the duty of confidentiality should always be balanced between competing ethical considerations or there should be proper establishment of legal or professional requirements (Oxley, 2011). For instance, in our case in exceptional or compelling circumstance where one must monitor his or her spouse, perhaps there should be report information to the authorities so as to monitor the actions that a fellow spouse may undertake after identifying that he or she is cheating on him with another person. But, in our case ethically the surveillance app developed by Akbar fails to consider the ethics aspect of maintaining confidentiality. This is because they are unable to keep record of the aftermath and individual has taken or fails to monitor the steps one has taken after identifying the truth about his spouse. Hence, such an app tends to be a threat to the society; this is because it brings chaos and family break ups. Therefore, such an app shouldn’t be acceptable for usage unless the following steps are considered:

Consequences:

From the surveillance case, one thing that is evident is that the app is expected to monitor calls that your fellow spouse is receiving and listening through their conversation. Hence, situations may arise where one doesn’t know what he or she should do. Perhaps, Akbar may consider offering some guidance or recommend for couple therapies before one decides to use the app. taking this step will somehow reduce chaos in the society and prevent individuals from committing regretful acts.

Ethical Analysis

Consequentialism

Looking at some ethical definitions of the terms privacy and confidentiality, Privacy takes the definition of control over the extent of timing and sharing of a particular circumstance. Therefore, privacy is the rights an individual has and is limited to access by others, and by law privacy is considered to be a human basic right (In Coons & In Weber, 2013). On the other hand, confidentiality is the act of protecting a person’s privacy. Hence, looking at the above given definitions what can be ethically certain is that the development of the surveillance app is ethically wrong this is because it interferes with a person’s basic human right of privacy according to law.

Just Consequentialism

In terms of dealing with the privacy aspect, ethically I could recommend that the application software be illegal for uses unless under special circumstances. Reason being there might be individuals who use the app so as to destroy others. Hence, making the app illegal may perhaps reduce the levels of its usage.

Options

  • It is customary process in ethical thinking is that, if you can’t be getting any solution then first you have to stop the thing first, after that you will get that what are the other alternate option we can try
  • Now you have to set a landmark for the purpose of including all the people going to affected by this action if it is carried out.
  • Try to know the other facts and information its likely consequences for different option, in this condition, the app creator should identify who is going to use the app.
  • Choose the app for group of selected people, what are the outcomes when they going to use.
  • Make different app for different group of people, make inherent identifying source code so that people can be tracked while misusing it.

conclusion

In conclusion it is vital for one to consider individual’s privacy and confidentiality when monitoring him or her. Some information may fall on wrong hand or be used for evil purposes against an individual. Hence, this tends to lower the moral standards in the society after one well-being and dignity is destroyed (Carson, 2010).

References

Ethical theory and moral practice. (2008). Netherlands: Kluwer Academic Publishers.

Ethical Theory and Moral Practice. (n.d.). Kluwer Academic Publishers.

Oxley, J. C. (2011). The moral dimensions of empathy: Limits and applications in ethical theory and practice. Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan.

In Coons, C., & In Weber, M. (2013). Paternalism: Theory and practice.

Robins, N. A., & Jones, A. (2009). Genocides by the oppressed: Subaltern genocide in theory and practice. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press.

Szerletics, A. (2015). Paternalism: Moral theory and legal practice.

Alexandra, A, & Miller, S, (2009). Ethics in practice moral theory and the professions.

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