The Ethical Dilemma Of A Contract Web Developer Essay

The Ethical Dilemma Of A Contract Web Developer Essay

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Information technology is rapidly advancing, and along with it are ethical issues and challenges faced in the work environment. If remains unsolved, it can escalate and these ethical problems can have devastating effect on the company’s reputation towards its clients as well as employees. These ethical problems are diverse in nature that existing legislations and corporate rules may not specifically cover it nor provide an adequate solution. It can even occur to an individual within the company who even does not take part of the unethical practice.


This report focuses on the ethical dilemma of a contract web developer, Johnny, who is urged by WLC Ltd., his client, to share the web application project files that is still under the ownership of his friend, Tom. Johnny is bound by the non-disclosure agreement between him and Tom. Johnny’s option is either to comply with Tom or WLC Ltd. but he cannot choose both. However, he will be liable to damages in both options.

Several approaches are analysed to derive a viable solution to the dilemma of Johnny. One of them is to address the issue in a legal perspective by exploring the existing legislations in New Zealand, United States, and United Kingdom. The code of conduct of Boeing and Australian Computer Society are also used as a basis together with the ethical theories of Kantianism and Consequentialism. Furthermore, the social norm of human cooperation also provides one of the solutions. The final solution that is recommended for Johnny is based on a legal approach not to disclosure the project files to avoid the consequences stated on the legislation.

Improvement of Information Technology (IT) has provided individual more strength than ever before. Nowadays, the majority of job...


... middle of paper ...


...elopment, Johnny is approached by WLC Ltd. and asked to share the project files that includes codes, server configurations, and database dumps. WLC Ltd. made Johnny understand that it is the only way for the project to survive and the consequences are also devastating. Now, Johnny is faced with a dilemma to reject the request of WLC Ltd., making him one of the factors why the project failed together with the severe loss to the company, or hand over the project files while destroying his friendship with Tom and breaking the NDA.

As per the laws- US Code Section 7213 regarding unauthorized disclosure of information. This law clearly describes that it is unlawful for a person to wilfully leak the information about the documentation, database and codes to any person working in the company. The offender shall be fine of 5,000 USD or imprisonment for a maximum of 5 years.

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