Need an research paper on informational privacy. Needs to be 3 pages. Please no plagiarism. Informational Privacy
Privacy refers to the sense of concern that persons have about maintaining a personal space that is devoid of interference from other individuals and organizations (Clark, 2007). It is sensible that when Justin M. Ellsworth signed-up for an email account with yahoo, he probably presumed that he was guaranteed privacy. Individuals’ email accounts represent a safe place where persons can feel free to keep their deepest emotions typed, store private documents and maintain their personal space privately. I most certainly believe that Justin’s parents had all the best intentions when they sought to challenge the privacy agreement held by Yahoo. After his unfortunate death, they got a court order to expose their son’s emails opposing the freedoms that individuals enjoy. However, could it be that Justin’s parents had brought out a personal life that might end up changing what they thought of him all in their search to get his last thoughts? This as well as other deontological and utilitarian moral ethics ought to be put into consideration when faced with the choice of invading an individual’s privacy.
According to the utilitarian general idea of ethics, if an action for the greater good leads to more happiness as opposed to unhappiness then it is termed good (Newton, 2013). If yahoo had yielded and given in to Justin’s parents’ demands and given them his account password then the action would have been good for them only. They only would have felt happier and therefore such an action opposes the utilitarian theory as it doesn’t create happiness for the public at large. Additionally, in their quest to comprehend what Justin’s last thoughts were, his parents may have stumbled upon information that could alter their thoughts of who he was. They should instead have focused on preserving how they last remembered their son. By according Justin’s parents the right to get his emails, the judge created happiness only for his parents rather than reaching to a moral decision that would create happiness for the larger number of individuals.
In the deontological ethical theory, Justin’s parents ought to have been denied their son’s emails due to the Yahoo privacy agreements. By issuing emails to the public at large, Yahoo would be acting in violation of one’s contractual, human and civil rights (Yahoo!, 2006). As long as these agreements are breached even if it is once, other individuals from the general public will be able to start petitioning for access to email accounts by citing several reasons. If this happens, overall fairness and happiness would be lost. The agreements are put in place due to these and many other reasons. The email privacy agreements set by Yahoo do not concur with the moral appropriateness of issuing the password to his parents as a result of differentiating right from wrong and for the benefit of goodness. There would be a resultant breakdown in every Yahoo user’s privacy if they gave out one individual’s password and if there was the possibility of revealing Justin’s personal emails. This would in turn raise problems associated with appealing to new customers and ensuring the existing ones remain intact.
To conclude, if Justin had any intentions of sharing his private emails with his parents he had the option of doing so while he was still alive. The internet represents a place where one can feel free to be whom they want. If Justin had wanted somebody to have his email’s password then he most probably would have given it to someone. It is my belief that the judge made an error in judgment when he decided to accord a court order to Justin Ellsworth’s parents that allowed them to have access to his emails. A person’s email account is something private and Yahoo who were his service provider had a preexisting terms of service agreement that that they had to stand by. Even though his parents are to be sympathized with greatly, there is a common law that should be put into consideration. The matter of privacy cannot be merely waived away since the decision to give out such information is capable of having severe consequences for everyone’s email privacy. It is also crucial that those he was communicating with be put into consideration. Their privacy is also in jeopardy since Ellsworth’s parents will be able to look at what his correspondents wrote to him privately. All email networks and social media have a privacy statement that is to be agreed with by all users before getting an account with the provider. In Yahoo’s case, it clearly states that the provider will handle all communication as being private and ought not to be issued to unauthorized persons. Yahoo was right in standing by their agreement even with the occurrence of such an unfortunate situation.
Clark, R. (2007). Introduction to Dataveillance and Information Privacy, and Definitions
of Terms. Xamax Consultancy Pty Ltd. Accessed on 25th March 2013 from http:// L. (2013). Ethical Decision Making: Introduction to Cases and Concepts in Ethics. New York: Springer.
Yahoo! Inc. (2006). Information Sharing and Disclosure. Accessed on 25th March 2013
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