business ethics discussion replies 1

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You will see the original questions presented to the class underlined below. I need responses to the following students’ posts #1-4. The #5 post is the instructor’s reply to my post. Every response to #1-5 should be at least a paragraph or two. This is for Business Ethics 400 class so please read the attached links. You need to only reference the links provided at the bottom for your sources. Please don’t forget page numbers in your citations if applicable. It is for a forum setting so please do not use, …”This student’s post….”. Please write as if you are responding to the student. Also, please complete citations for each response separately in order for me to keep each one organized. Only use the attachments I provided for sources please.


Learning Activity #1

Driving on the Internet Express

One of the consequences of recent technological advances has been the degree to which they have impacted how businesses conduct themselves, creating some significant problems regarding how businesses interact with each other and consumers. Consumers themselves have not escaped the technological advances unscathed either given the incidents of identity theft and the hacking of their data entrusted to businesses. Perhaps in no greater area has the advance in technology manifested itself than in the proliferation of the use of the internet. Through the use of the internet, businesses are able to reach wider audiences for their products, and consumers have been able to increase their access both to information and products.

In an interesting video embedded here, the presenter, A.C. Markkula, Jr., a co-founder of Apple, takes the position that access to the internet is a privilege and not a right. To curb some of the abuses and harmful effects, Markkula suggests (perhaps tongue in cheek or perhaps seriously?) a drivers’ license approach to the internet. In essence to obtain and maintain your ability to use the internet you would have to go through a process similar to obtaining and retaining your drivers’ license. What do you think of Markkula’s idea and why in your opinion would this work or not work? What are some of the ethical implications of such an approach?

Learning Activity # 2

Where Oh Where Is My Data?

Eye See U, Inc., headquartered in Orange County, California, is one of the largest medical billing companies in the United States. As a part of its business, the Company prepares invoices and receives payments on behalf of private and governmental entities, both state and federal. To fulfill its mission, the company stores a substantial amount of consumer data, including social security numbers, dates of birth, medical histories, and credit card information. In a routine audit, the company discovered that an unauthorized party had accessed the Company’s database.

Upon discovering the unauthorized access, the Company immediately conducted a thorough investigation, which involved a comprehensive check of the affected site and implementation of measures to defend against any further attacks. Not wanting to be the target of adverse publicity or to chance the possible loss of lucrative contracts, the Company did not disclose to anyone, it’s clients or consumers, the news of the security breach. Identify and discuss the ethical issues you see in this scenario. How do you think the company should resolve the ethical issues? Do you believe the company had an ethical duty to disclose the breach, and if so to whom? Are there any ethical theories that support your response?


“Learning Activity 1: Driving on the Internet Express

Opinion on Markkula’s idea to renew license to use the internet

Markkula provided an idea that would lead to data protection and security for information that firms use for their competitive advantages (, 2019). In case it would be possible to use licenses to access the internet then accurate protection of information from consumers and producers would occur. However, this process would lead to limited information sharing among customers and the companies.

Why Markkula’s idea would not work

Providing licenses for internet use would not be possible for various reasons. The server worldwide web (www) is freely accessed by all internet users in countries where it is allowed (Santos, 2017, para.3). All members would access information from this server. Secondly, is in business and would allow more traffic to earn more profits (George, 2019, para.2). Thirdly, there are different laws in different states reducing chances of a common law on the use of the internet. These three main reasons would reduce applicability of Markkula’s needs for renewals and licenses for the use of the internet.

Some of the ethical implications of seeking approval and renewals to use internet

There are two main ethical considerations for providing licenses before using the internet. First, freedom of communication and association should be provided to humanity as a right not a privilege. Second, there should be freedom of association that allows consumers to form groups and discuss information about different products that firms sell using the internet platform.

Learning Activity 2: Where Oh Where is My Data?

Ethical issues in the case of data security breach at Eye See U Inc. is concealing information on hacking of its database and having such a weak data protection system that could be compromised. Firms should protect data using proper security features. These include passwords and multistep encryption patterns (Kelly, 2018, para.5). These trends would have deterred access of unauthorized persons to the firm’s database.

The company should resolve the ethical issues by ensuring that it informs clients of the failures of their systems and apologies for such security breaches. Explanation of the security features that would protect future information would be given to customers to boost their level of confidence (Roynelson, 2018, para4). The company had ethical obligation to inform government institutions and customers who were securing their services. Deontological ethical theory can be used to support the claim that firms have the duty to report any data breaches to their customers (Teddy, 2017, para6). Firms that provide accurate pieces of information to customers can be trusted even if the security breach affected many customers.


George, J. (2019). European Union hits Google with record $5 billion fine in Android Antitrust Case. Data Breach, 4(2), 3-14.

Kelly, R. (2018). The complicated ethics of Data-Breach Disclosure. Data Management, 2(2), 23-56.

Roynelson, T. (2018). Technology as a threat to Privacy: Ethical challenges to the information profession. ICT, 3(2), 22-45.

Santos, H. (2017). The universality of worldwide web. Information Technology, 3(4), 34-67.”

“Learning Activity 1

I think that having a type of license to utilize the internet is a good thought. Having it based on age and if an individual violated the law, it could be taken away. I am sure that some people would find back doors and access the internet without a license, however other people would not go through the trouble of hacking the system and simply decide to obtain a license. Additionally, I think that people would be more mindful of the way that they behaved on the internet. I believe that they age limit should be set when children are old enough to understand that they should not talk to people that they do not know because it could be a predator targeting young children. Also, because people could have the privilege taken away it would reduce cyber bullying.

I think that would help and hurt a business as the same time. This could help a business because it would reduce the number of hackers trying to access the system to steel consumers information. It could also hurt a system people there would be less of an audience that the business could reach through this source of communication.

Requiring a license would be beneficial to businesses and consumers alike. Requiring a corporation to obtain this prior to taking business to the web would push business to act in a more ethical manner towards consumers and other businesses. Big businesses will be unable to push smaller businesses to the side (Breuninger, 2017). All ads would appear equally, consumers would be able to access the business’ website and the consumer would be able to see the set prices for products. This will give new and smaller businesses a chance to survive while also giving the consumer more options to choose which product is right for them.

Businesses will also increase how cautious they are towards their customers and their privacy. Customers give their information to consumers with the assumption that the company will guard their information. However, businesses are selling their customers information which is increasing their own revenues, without the customers even knowing (Romm, 2018). While at times the corporation is selling consumer information, at other times the businesses website is being breached and privacy is being stolen (CloudMask, n.d.). Businesses will ensure that they are purchasing cyber security that is up to date and programs that will fullfil their security needs if they were afraid that they would have their internet access taken away.

Breuninger, Kevin (2017). Net Neutrality Rules are Likely Doomed, but the Debate isn’t Going Away. CNBC. Retrieved from–will-consumers-pay.html

CloudMask. (n.d). The Cost of Data Security: Are Cybersecurity Investments worth it? Retrieved from

Romm, Tony. (2018). California is on the Verge of Passing a Sweeping New Online Privacy Law Targeting Facebook, Google and Other Tech Giants. The Washington Post. Retrieved from

Learning Activity 2

The company must decide if they should not disclose to customers that their private information was breached which denies the customer from taking further precautions from protecting themselves or disclose the information and chance the possibility of losing worthwhile contracts. While the company may think that not disclosing the breach will save its company, it will only increase the negative view of the company and tarnish the brand (Novinson, 2018). The company absolutely had a responsibility to inform its customers about the data breach. Making customers aware give them the opportunity to become more cautious about their financial accounts and more proactive about monitoring their credit. Eye See U Inc. could keep themselves from being the center of adverse publicity if they took the steps to correct the issue. Some things that can be done are creating a call center specifically to answer questions that people may have in regard to the breach, offering free credit monitoring for a specific period of time, offer free identity protection (Novinson, 2018). This would help identify them as caring for the well being of their customers, and a company that is honest and trustworthy.

The company also has a duty to inform its financers. The financers have a right to know that there is a possibility that the company will be getting hit with lawsuits. While financers may be displeased, and some may back out and be displeased, many others will appreciate the straight forwardness and knowing that the company is working to rectify the issue.

Novinson, Michael. (2018) The 10 Largest Data Security Beaches of 2018 (So Far). CRN. Retrieved from”

The ethical issues I see in Eye See U, Inc case are the security breach itself and not disclosing to clients and consumers. According to Interset, “Although it may not be clear if companies are breaking the law by stalling disclosure, customers are growing increasingly paranoid by this furtive behavior”. I understand why the company did not want to disclose to their clients and consumers because Eye See U does not want to look incompetent as a company. But accidents happen and sometimes things fall through the cracks. I believe the company show disclose to their clients and consumers about the breach and let them know that they are working diligently to ensure this does not happen again. As for the security breach its self, the company should review the current procedures on how information is collected and where it is stored. The company also needs to look into a new way to store this information. Whether it be electronically or physically. If the information is stored electronically, security settings and logins need to be updated. If the information is kept as hard copies in a file room, that file room needs to be locked at all times and only certain people given access to this room. I do believe the company had an ethical duty to disclose the issue to at least their clients and consumers. I believe this because it was their information that was leaked out. Just like Gary Kovacs says, “when I don’t know or haven’t been asked is when the problem arises.” Clients and consumers will lose trust into the company once they find out.

The Complicated Ethics of Data-Breach Disclosure. (2016, November 16). Retrieved from

Gary Kovacs: Tracking the trackers. (2019) Retrieved from”

Mr. A.C. Markkula suggest a license approach to gain internet access to browse the internet. I believe this is a good idea but there are a few ethical and practical issues associated with this suggestion. It may not work. One main issue that Markkula will run into is that the internet is a learning tool. People use the internet for different purposes. Some use it to learn new concepts, internet shopping, commercial use, and sharing general information. When we think about learning, some people who have trouble using basic tools such as books use the internet. If we impose licenses or restrictions it can lead to a problem for those individuals. The internet is used globally, it may be difficult to certify or license all of them. Ethically speaking if the licenses are issued there is a chance of abuse of the licenses of one person by another person considering the licensee is the default. Companies use a wide range of computers by numerous people, this could be a problem for the company performance because there could be an increased employee turnover by the occurrences of misused licenses. Showing license at every stage of use of the internet will waste the users time. It could also affect the browsing concentration and lead to decrease of interest towards internet. Many people learn things through inadvertent surfing. Licensing makes people lean towards selective browsing and their creativity can be bothered. Another ethical issue of licensing for internet usage is that it would keep track of individual browsing history. This could turn into a breach of personal data.

Romm, T. (2018, June 27). California is on the verge of passing a sweeping new online privacy law targeting Facebook, Google and other tech giants. Retrieved from

The Complicated Ethics of Data-Breach Disclosure. (2016, November 16). Retrieved from”


  • MY POST:
    “Learning Activity #1
  • My thoughts on Markkula’s Idea and why it would work

I concur with Markkula’s perception that the internet’s benefits far outweigh the negative aspects of this great innovation that has transformed all spheres of our lives by making the world a global village. The internet can indeed be related to the first frontier period where no laws were managing the use of the internet, and thus, it was up to an individual to determine what to do with it.

  • Why it would work

Markkula’s idea that in the future, the law will require responsible use of the internet similar to the way the driver’s license was introduced is accurate and relevant (A. C. “Mike” Markkula Jr. – “The Internet Is a Privilege” [Video file], 2013). Today the internet use principles are based on social and personal choices, and thus, the levels of responsibility are low because of the freedom. However, with time, ethical issues such as cybercrime will have to be addressed by holding the individual accountable. In my opinion, regulating the sector with the requirement to access the internet via a license will provide an opportunity to raise the bar ethically.

  • Ethical Implications

Therefore ethical standards would be set whereby codes of conduct for an individual would be used to eliminate criminal activities on the internet and restore the integrity of the internet in the long run (Britz, 2018). The internet will face new challenges every time new regulations are implemented, but that will not stop the internet from being fully regulated since it is a continuous process. In my view, in case the internet is shut down, innovators would provide alternative solutions to fill the huge market gap, and thus the idea of shutting the internet down would create a business opportunity for either legal or illegal actors providing the same service.

  • Learning Activity # 2
  • Ethical issues in the Scenario

Despite the company investigating the data breach, it did not take a responsible step to disclose the findings to the consumers so that they can be aware and also make necessary adjustments if possible. The company also unethically protected its reputation while knowingly exposing the information of its customers. The case study provides a common phenomenon in the contemporary business world that should be addressed.

  • Alternative handling of the breach

A responsible organization should ensure that after a data breach, the investigation is carried out, and clients are advised as soon as possible to prevent clients from further harm. The firm should also apologize for failing to take measures to detect, identify, and mitigate cybersecurity risks. Thus it is significant and beneficial in the long run to disclose the information and to own up the mistake rather than hiding the data from the public (The Complicated Ethics of Data-Breach Disclosure, 2016). Moreover, the organization has to ensure that the breach is immediately addressed to protect the consumer data loss and illegal use. Then the firm has to disclose the breach information as soon as possible by providing actual information to consumers (Novinson, 2018). At this point, it is not advisable to downplay the incident as it may cause the firm to offer inaccurate statements that might harm the firm’s reputation later since a well handled a data breach can increase consumer confidence in the organization’s ability to handle crises.

  • Supporting theories

The beneficence theory supports my argument since the theory states that decision making should be based on ensuring that the action taken causes the least harm as possible (Aggan, 2018). Thus the decision maker needs to do what will not harm the consumer, and as a result, the organization will also benefit in the long run. Another theory is that of utilitarianism, which states that consequences have effects and thus, the decision maker should strive to take a position that will ensure the common good.


A. C. “Mike” Markkula Jr. – “The Internet Is a Privilege” [Video file]. (2013, April 19). Retrieved from

Aggan, W. (2018). The cost of data security: Are cybersecurity investments worth it? Retrieved from…

Britz, J. (2018). TECHNOLOGY AS A THREAT TO PRIVACY: Ethical Challenges. Retrieved from…

The Complicated Ethics of Data-Breach Disclosure. (2016, November 16). Retrieved from…

Equifax Breach Exposed More Consumer Data Than First Disclosed. (2018, February 13). Retrieved from…

Novinson, M. (2018, July 31). The 10 Largest Data Security Breaches Of 2018 (So Far). Retrieved from…”

Critics of a proposal such as Markkula’s argue that restricting access would infringe on one’s First amendment freedom of speech rights. What do you think of this argument?

If the business decided that the public interest or public good would not be served by disclosing a breach because it might produce a sense of panic and concern among the public, would you be comfortable with allowing the business to make that judgment?


Week 6: Emerging Technologies, Data Protection & Privacy

Theme 1: Emerging Technology

Theme 2: Data Protection

Theme 3: Privacy

Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights—not the law

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