Cyber Ethical scandal and the methods of solution the case
Ethics is a system of moral principles that helps people to reach a right decision in different situations. Based on general moral principles, internet business ethics differs from just ethics because of its following business standards in the internet.
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National Research University Higher School of Economics
ST. PETERSBURG SCHOOL OF ECONOMICS AND MANAGEMENT DEPARTMENT OF LOGISTICS AND SUPPLY CHAIN MANAGEMENT
"Cyber Ethical scandal and the methods of solution the case"
Student: Vyborova Sofya, BLG-162
Tutor: Elena Korchagina, professor of NRU HSE SPb
1. Case description
1.1 background of the business
1.2 case outline
2. Literature review
3. Case analysis
4. Solution & recommendations
Ethics is a system of moral principles that helps people to reach a right decision in different situations. Also, it is an instrument for people to differ bad things from good things; therefore, ethics is the main regulator of social relations and behavior of people. Traditional ethics task is to be a "practical philosophy" it helps morality in the development of the most common concepts and evaluation of moral main values, establishing the borders. Normative ethics is a integrated form of communication theoretical ethics and practical ethics, thus, It works as a "transmission mechanism" from the theoretical to the applied ethics, dealing with moral collisions in different situations of social practice. Based on general moral principles, business ethics differs from just ethics because of its following business and corporative standards. So what kind of difficulties may happen if all the rules of ethical behavior are already known? There are mane examples in the world when the ethical conflict is almost unsolvable because of contradiction between different ethic standards and different cultures. Nowadays, there are many new fields where the ethical standards may be hardly used, for example, the internet sphere. The case from this work is a good example of such conflicts of moral principles and the connection to the web sphere.
1. CASE DESCRIPTION
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE BUSINESS
The company of innovational technologies, "NTechLab", was founded in 2015 by Artyom Kuharenko. In 2016 this company created a program "FindFace" which allows people to match other people's faces with their profiles in social network "Vkontakte". This program was conceived as a dating service but people began to use it for other purposes. The "FindFace" became famous because of scandal project "Your Face is a Big Data" by the photographer Egor Cvetkov where he puts photos of strangers taken in subway next to the photos from their profiles in social networks. Now the service is very popular and the whole amount of users is more than 1 million. The service is free and available for everyone but users can access only 30 free searches, the others searches should be payed - from 149 to 459 rubles a month. It is not the only income the service gets, the founders have already created commercial adopted versions for some enterprises, which means that the project is a good business idea for marketing companies. The company is getting bigger and the developers want to use all the social networks to look for the people in future.
1.2 CASE OUTLINE
April 9, 2016. Some people created a topic on the popular Russian web-site where people share images and other information, "2Ch" where people publicized the instruction of revelation porno actresses using the service "FindFace". The text is the exhortation to show "the real face" of these women to their family and friends. Also, people shared their "accomplishments": the photos and the personal information of porno actresses and their families and friends to public. Some women, affected by the virtual terror, asked the direction of the service "NTechLab" to stop it but they said it was impossible because of different technical reasons. The topic on "2Ch" was deleted a month later because of public requirements of feminist organizations. The creators of "FindFace" officially apologized to all the victims of web-terror and promised they would create a special protection system. In this case the policy was powerless because of the security contract between the users and the "2Ch" service. This case caused a huge resonance of the opinions in the world.
2. LITERATURE REVIEW
I have read many books to research the case study I found. One of them was "Journal of Business Ethics" by Editor-in-Chief: R.E. Freeman; M. Greenwood. This journal consists many scientific articles about business ethics and these articles give a whole concept of the subject. Also, the book "Ethics and Values in Industrial-Organizational Psychology" by Joel Lefkowitz is a good book for all of the people who want to find out the connection between psychology and business. Also, I have read "Ethics in the Economy - Handbook of Business Ethics" by Laszlo Zsolnai. The book shows new theories and practices of deciding business ethics case studies on real examples which is important for understanding how to do case analysis and how to write a solution and recommendations. In addition, there is a book called "A history of Business Ethics" by Richard de George which relates to ethical standards in business cases and academic sense of ethics: the author tells about business ethics movement and tendencies. For understanding the problem of cyber ethics, I have read Gavison, R. (1984) "Privacy and the Limits of the Law" in The Yale Law Journal which tells about the general principles of law in the internet and the possibilities of using the law institute to decide web-crimes. The next book is about the conflict between photographing and privacy - "Privacy, photography, and the press." by Warren, Samuel; Brandeis, Louis. This book illustrates situation which is similar to the case in my work. Nevertheless, nowadays the concept of privacy has greatly changed so the researching of cyber attacks needs more actual information. For this reason, I have read the book "Information Ethics: Privacy and Intellectual Property" by Lee Freeman. This book relates to the main ideas of information ethics and raises the problem of using internet as a problem of lack of confidentiality and protected services. The cyber ethics issue is discussed a lot in the internet, so the articles and different kinds of work about the issue are a huge amount. For understanding the problem I have read the article of the photographer, Egor Cvetkov, which is one of the stakeholders of the case. The article is called "Your Face Is Big Data" and refers to the case I have chosen: the author tells about the new technology service which helps to find the information about the person by the photo. This work is popular around the world and caused a lot of discussions about the topic of cyber ethics.
3. CASE ANALYSIS
1. NTechLab's company
2. The activists of the "2Ch" topic
3. Russian government
4. Porno actresses
6. The social network "VKontakte"
7. The creators of "FindFace"
8. The photographer, Egor Cvetkov
9. Relatives of victims
10. The creators of "2Ch"
The dilemma for the issue: Some people use the program "FindFace" to find the personal information about porno actresses and tell what they do to their families and friends; also, they share the information about these women on the web-sites and agitate other people to do the same.
According to utilitarian approach, the case needs analysis from two sides of benefit to society: either it is good or bad. The actions of "2Ch"'s activists are good because: 1) these actions were expected to be the tool for decreasing porn industry which is inappropriate in society and also illegal in Russia; 2) these actions unconsciously raised the problem of private life in the internet-era. Anyway, the actions were bad because: 1) these actions harmed women's personal lives; 2) these actions caused aggressive behavior of the group of activists, and they terrorized and blackmailed innocent people; 3) these actions caused problems to relatives of victims, which had not done anything bad. Nevertheless, the real harm women have got because of attacks outweighs mane other factors. Summarizing, the pros outweight the cons, so it is clear that this case is unethical and unbeneficial. As for mankind benefits, if the actions of "2Ch"'s activists were accepted ethical and beneficial, people would do the same or worse terroristic acts which are inappropriate and violent to other people. Thus, it is important for peace in the world to be beyond the limits and do not let other people destroy them. On the other hand, if people blamed the behavior of these web-terrorists and the policy arrested them for such actions, other people would see what happens with people who think that they may interfere to other people's lives without their permission. It is clear to see that forbidding such behavior produces more good than bad consequences. ethic moral principle business
According to deontological approach, the case needs to be analyzed by answering questions. The case does not relate to the main moral concepts such as do not kill or do not steal etc so it needs to be considered by the next research. So, according to the next question, the rule "Harm people who act inappropriately" is not universal for everyone and it would not be good if all the people harmed each other's lives whenever they thought their behavior is inappropriate. Thus, the actions of people on "2Ch" are unethical.
4. SOLUTION & RECOMMENDATIONS
The solution is consisted of few aspects: the first one is to improving the law of private life security by the government; the second one is to block the people which act unethical and inappropriate; the third one is to raise the problem of web-attacks; also, there have to be special educational courses in the schools and universities about ethics, moral principles, web-ethics, business ethics etc. The case shows few moral conflicts: what is the limit of society influence on the person and what is ethical in the internet. The first problem has been discussed for few centuries but the second problem happened nowadays thus it is hard to adapt the case to the ethics code. Nevertheless, ethics is based on general moral principles and the new internet ethics should be based on them too. The difficulty of solving internet conflicts is anonymity: people may be whoever they want to be and the data of users are confidential, so sometimes there is no decision of the problem but shadowing which in turn raises other ethical conflicts.
Anyway, people should be more careful at social networks because all the information publicized there is available to everyone. A good advice for people is to change privacy settings. As for social networks, their main purpose is to protect personal information, so they have to create new tools of security. In turn, government needs to develop low system and the methods of applying them: people should know that they are secured. As for the "2Ch"'s creators, they should employ moderators who will check all the topics on the web-site and delete inappropriate materials.
To sum up, it could be said that people need to treat each other more respectively and their actions should not harm other's lives - that is the concept of any ethics. Cyber ethics as a business ethics regulate relations between people according to difficulties of the fields but do not have to destroy the main moral principles of society. As for this case, there is a conflict between two different moral concepts such as the judgment of inappropriate (deviant) behavior and the principal of respecting each other's lives. The importance of the second one happened to be more ponderable in the case but all the situations are different and need to be evaluated particularly. For this reason, all the ethic cases must be explored by different approaches.
1. The news about the accident by TechCrunch: https://techcrunch.com/2016/10/18/ntechlab-aims-new-findface-pro-facial-recognition-service-at-businesses/
2. The article on photographer's web-site which refers to the case: http://cargocollective.com/egortsvetkov/YOUR-FACE-IS-BIG-DATA
3. The official web-site of NTechLab: http://ntechlab.ru
4. The news about the accident by Lenta news: https://lenta.ru/news/2016/05/17/findface/
5. The news about the accident with opinions of experts: http://observer.com/2016/05/facial-recognition-findface-ntech/
6. The news about the accident by tvTrain: https://tvrain.ru/articles/predpolagaemym_zahvatchikom_banka_v_moskve_okazalsja_biznesmen_aram_petrosjan-415914/
7. The news about the accident by PCWorld with analytics: http://www.pcworld.com/article/3055305/analytics/your-face-is-big-data-the-title-of-this-photographers-experiment-says-it-all.html
8. The news about the accident by TJ: https://tjournal.ru/26824-polzovateli-dvacha-deanonimizirovali-rossiiskih-pornoaktris-s-pomoshu-findface
9. "Information Ethics: Privacy and Intellectual Property" by Lee Freeman, 2004
10. "Ethics and the Internet" by Network Working Group , 2008
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