Ethical Reflection

When I read The Code I’m Still Ashamed Of by Bill Sourour it did not take me long to understand what he had done wrong. I was even more disheartened when it dawned on me that the project came to him in the form it did. Far too many people in the client’s company completely disregarded any form of ethical fortitude by approving it. Approving a project that blatantly lied to a section of the public that was searching for a possible reprieve to what was ailing them goes against any form of ethical action. As a last line of ethical defense, care ethics would have had Sourour demand changes or outright reject the project. I will admit that this event does not surprise me, as I have seen it in the past numerous times. This is just further proof to me that I need to strive to ensure I am guided by care ethics, as too many people are not. I will use Sourour’s story as a reminder to myself that often just doing what is asked of me is not always the most ethical thing. It is key to ensure that while I, or those around me, may be providing care to one, we must not cause harm to anyone else if we want our actions to remain ethical.

I recently had a discussion with a coworker about privacy and privacy laws in the United States. My coworker was hard set that the government should have as minimal a presence as possible, to include not enacting any more privacy laws and just trying to fix the ones we have. After discussing the downfalls that route entailed, my coworker proposed the idea of adopting a GDPR like set of regulations. The more we discussed it, the more we realized it was just all around a better plan forward, despite the possibility that it probably would not be easy. It would just be better for everyone, or as a utilitarian would say, it would increase the net good in the world. This also means it is the most ethical choice. I have known about the EU’s GDPR for a while but did not give the idea of it coming to the US until our conversation. After really looking at it and realizing it is more utilitarian, and therefore ethical, approach to privacy laws, I am now quite in favor of the idea. Maintaining the course may be easier and ethical, but there may be a more ethical solution and utilitarianism would have us strive for that over taking the easier path.

The Equifax data breach was an event that affected many Americans on a very personal level. Hearing the accounts of the lives impacted made me think about the very institution of data mining. Every day, millions of people around the world are putting their personal information on the internet, and that information is being collected and sold to countless companies and entities for a variety of reasons with little repercussions. It seems that our own personal data and information is no longer ours to control. However, the companies that use this information and profit off it, including Equifax during the data breach, are partaking in actions that cause harm to many people. Though the companies themselves experience positive results from these actions, a great many more are negatively impacted by them. From a consequentialist viewpoint, these actions are morally wrong. Going forward, it’s important for me to remember that just because something benefits me and those I love does not mean that it is not harmful for others around me. Inflicting pain and negativity onto others for my own personal gain is morally wrong. While my family will always be my priority in my life, I don’t live in a vacuum. My actions, whether personally or professionally, can have repercussions, and it’s important to consider the potential impact on those around me when facing decisions.

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