Case Study : An Ethical Dilemma Essay

Case Study : An Ethical Dilemma Essay

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In this case, Diane is facing choices that are entirely ethical and we can classify this case as an ethical dilemma. Diane was hired to build a system for a company. However, the company does not have enough money to follow suggestions that Diane has listed out for them. In order to make the limited budget work, they have told Diane to build a less secure system. All the CEO, director of computing and director of personnel have agreed upon this option. Diane is a professional and from her analysis of the company’s needs and the type of data they have, she has deemed the option the company chooses to be unacceptable with the extremely sensitive data that will circulate in the system. Diane will have to make decision between building a system that will satisfy the needs for protection of the data and the monetary gain from the contract but with a lower level of security. This decision involves ethics and therefore we will utilize some ethics principle to evaluate which choice Diane should take. We will also consult the Association for Computing and Machinery (ACM) Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct to see how Diane 's decision could align with points laid out in this document.
The first ethical theory that we will take a look at is utilitarianism. This theory defined morality in terms of the maximization of expected utility for all parties affected by a decision or action (Kay, 1997). As most clearly stated by Mill, the father of utilitarianism, the basic principle of utilitarianism is: "Actions are right to the degree that they tend to promote the greatest good for the greatest number" (Kay, 1997). In our case, if Diane chooses to build the system like requested by the company, with lower security, the company can afford t...


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...prevent that from happening and fully follow this principle Diane should not build the less secure system. Diane has been honest and upholds the second principle correctly by telling the company the options they can look at for a sufficiently secure system. She is also honest about the new system suggested by the company 's leaders being not adequate. To continue upholding this principle, Diane should also refuse to build this less secure system. The last principle is respect privacy of others. In order to come up with the plans she has brought up to the company 's leaders, Diane has followed this principle. Her high security level for the system is for the purpose of protecting people 's privacy, which is the core of system security. Therefore, she should not build a system that can violate this principle. All in all, the advice for Diane is not to build the system.

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Case Study : An Ethical Dilemma Essay

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