Technology and privacy
Tinder is a newly opened firm that deals with health insurance. The management prefers communicating with the workers through E-mails or phone calls since they find it more convenient What is more, Tinder is a modern company and must use the latest techniques of communication. Tinder recognizes the increased need for information safety and has hired two IT specialists John and Marcus. John and Marcus are trusted with all the data that goes in and out of the company. For security purposes, the two IT experts can access the emails and phone conversations of all the employees’ including the senior workers. They are supposed to identify any vulnerabilities or threats to security and develop safety measures. Data security in Tinder is crucial. This is because the firm has access to their clients’ health information which needs to be highly safeguarded as it can fall into the hands of unauthorized parties if not protected. Therefore, accessing the workers’ emails and tracking their conversations enables Marcus and John to identify any malicious activities and act accordingly.
Mary, one of the workers in Tinder complains to the management about the invasion of her privacy. Her workmates now know that she has been visiting a therapist, something she has kept as a secret. Mary has been seeing a counselor who has been helping her cope with divorce. The therapist likes writing her E-mails to remind her about the treatment sessions as well as knowing her progress. Mary has only one E-mail address which only she and Tinder IT specialists can access. What is more, Mary uses her phone to log in to her E-mail account and has never allowed the device to be accessed by anyone else ever since she bought it. Due to these reasons, Mary is highly convinced that Marcus and John intruded her privacy by opening her personal emails and allowing confidential information to be accessed by unauthorized individuals. She has reported this issue to the management and wants action to be taken against the firm’s IT experts.
When asked to explain how Mary’s private information was accessed by other workers, Marcus admitted that one of the laptops which he was given by the company was stolen when he once carried it home. He revealed that Mary’s personal email could have been accessed by the person who stole the device and shared the information with her workmates for malicious purposes.
The question is, how will Tinder ensure that such a case does not re-occur and that everyone’s privacy is protected? Should the IT team be restricted from accessing the employees’ personal emails and tracking their calls? At the same time, the company recognizes the need to monitor their workers’ emails and calls for security reason. As such, should Tinder forgo technology for privacy?
Summary of the dilemma
In summary, the dilemma, in this case, is about technology and privacy. Tinder, being an insurance company which handles sensitive health data from their customers’ needs technology to safeguard it. One security measure in place is the ability of UT experts, Marcus and John to access the E-mails and phone conversation of all Tinder’s employees. Mary’s personal information about her divorce therapy session becomes accessible to other employees and she accuses the IT specialists of letting that happen and wants them to be punished for intruding her privacy. Marcus admits to having lost one of the laptops that he was using to carry out work-related tasks including logging in to the employees’ emails. He claims that the person who stole the gadget is more likely to be the one who was able to access Mary’s e-mail account and share that the information with her colleagues. Tinder’s management is in a dilemma as to how they will go about protecting their employees’ privacy while at the same time using technology for the firm’s security purposes.
Key points of the dilemma
The main point in this dilemma is that technology undermines privacy. There have been hot debates and even research on how technology interferes with individuals’ privacy. Data which is given freely given can be collected, tracked, and sold for legal or malicious purposes. In his article titled “How technology is killing privacy” (2015), Alexander explores privacy concerns as they emanate from technology. He argues that technology has given rise to entities that collect individuals’ information and using it for various purposes. Google, Facebook, and NSA are some of the examples of firms that are interested in users’ data for purposes such as generating revenue. For instance, he says that both Facebook and Google “provide a number of services to users for free of charge, because their primary source of revenue is selling user information to advertisers” (Alexander, 2015).
As such, information can barely remain confidential given that millions of people use Facebook and Google on a daily basis but these companies use that data to gain profit. Hackers are also another group of individuals interested in people’s personal information but they use it for malicious purposes (Alexander, 2015). As for this case, the use of technology-enabled Mary’s privacy to be intruded. The initial intention was to access her E-mail for security purposes but since the device which was used to log into her account was stolen by an unauthorized person, her privacy was jeopardized. Had Marcus not used the computer, the Internet, and the E-mail, which are all products of technology, Mary’s information would have remained safe.
Additionally, the dilemma demonstrates the importance of technology when it comes to security matters. With the help of modern technology, organizations can identify vulnerabilities and potential dangers. Consequently, they can develop countermeasures to safeguard their information systems or data breaches. Tinder employed IT specialist to ensure that their clients’ information was safe. Being a company in the health industry, it is important for Tinder to make sure that their customers’ information cannot be accessed by people who may use it to cause harm. As such, monitoring their workers’ communications was an appropriate move that could have been difficult without technology.
Key terms associated with the dilemma
Technology– the branch of learning that manages the creation and utilization of specialized methods and their interrelation with life, society, and the earth, drawing upon such subjects as modern expressions, building, connected science, and unadulterated science (Schess, 2012).
Privacy– It implies detachment from the others and involves the capacity of the individual to avoid himself or to bar data about himself and to reveal them just in a specific manner. It infers a physical part that implies the interruptions on the physical space of an individual (Serbu, & Rotariu, 2015).
Personal data-information that is connected or can be connected to singular people. Models incorporate the date of birth, sexual inclination, whereabouts, religion, yet in addition the IP address of your PC or metadata relating to these sorts of data (Van den Hoven et al., 2014).
Data security-it not just intends to guarantee the insurance of individual information, yet in addition will in general secure other related rights and interests, for example, the opportunity of articulation, and the opportunity of an idea, still, small voice and religion.
Analysis of the conflicts and controversies involved in the dilemma
The dilemma raises controversy as to whether individuals’ privacy can be protected while still using technology. Should Tinder stop monitoring their employees’ emails and calls and adopt traditional methods of communication so as to ensure that their confidentiality is respected? Better still, should Mary stop using E-mail so that no one can access her private information? It is challenging to design technology such as software, infrastructure, and work processes, among others without altering privacy (Van den Hoven et al., 2014). The internet of things (IOT) for instance, enables multiple devices to be connected. IOTR devices “generate statistics, and these can be used for mining and profiling “(Van den Hoven et al., 2014). As such, one cannot be certain whether privacy is guaranteed as long as technology exists. It would be hard for Tinder firm to guarantee their workers’ privacy since they need technology to communicate and run the organization.
What is more, the dilemma presents conflicts on the superiority of protection and security in relation to technology. While technology tends to undermine privacy, it is crucial in enhancing security. From the case, Tinder seems to prioritize security at the cost of its workers’ privacy. Research shows that “Privacy is often balanced against other values, such as society’s safety and security” (Friedewald & Pohoryles, 2013). A significant number of people highly regard security compared to privacy and find it okay to access other people’s private conversations. Well, safety is important but so is privacy. Not checking the employees’ emails can lead to leakage of Tinder’s clients’ confidential information. Similarly, not prioritizing the workers’ privacy can harm them mentally or emotionally when their secret data is accessed by their enemies.
An original point of view relative to the dilemma and the issues it signals (1.5)
An original point of view relative to the dilemma is that technology and privacy cannot coexist. With technology, it is difficult to live a private life unless you forgo using the Internet, computers, and social media, just to mention a few products of technology. One basic issue in assessing whether a worker’s protection has been broken is whether the representative assented to having his interchanges observed, either explicitly or by suggestion (Schess, 2012). Representatives utilizing organization gear may have a troublesome time building up a sensible desire for protection in their utilization of such hardware, especially where the organization has a strategy on point. Said another way, the sensibility of a worker’s desire for protection can be seriously abridged by a business’ reasonable strategy taking into account observing.
The issue of closeness on the web is exponentially developing. The way that not all can see or are being intrigued by this issue today of assaulting closeness is no reason. Later they may wind up intrigued and the person who assaults can utilize the data when they had not been intrigued (Serbu, & Rotariu, 2015). When all is said in done all that is free always inside the online condition, has as definite reason discovering conduct data or of individual life to utilize them in showcasing, correspondence, insights with a clear result for selling such data, to be specific to transform them into an item. It isn’t so troublesome superficially. All things considered, similar data can be utilized by the individuals who have a more awful reason, in particular, to gather cash from the market by taking.
Application of Kant’s categorical imperative to the dilemma
Kant’s categorical imperative (CI) implies that what makes a deed imperative is because it belongs to a particular category. The imperative offers humans a methodology to assess ethical behaviors and make moral verdicts. The most popular formulation of CI requires people to evaluate whether it would be okay if everybody did what they are about to do (Kohl, M. (2015). For instance, if one wanted to tell lies, they ought to ask themselves whether it would be acceptable if everyone did the same. This applies to Tinder in the sense that it should the company finds it convenient to restrict the IT department from accessing workers E-mails, would it be okay with everyone? The answer would be yes and no. Yes because this action would enhance privacy but no because it would endanger the firm’s security.
Application of utilitarianism to the dilemma
Utilitarianism implies that the right choice is one with the largest benefits for most people (Mill, 2016). For instance, it could consider it ethical or worthy to sacrifice the life of one person to save many people. In this ethical dilemma, does restricting IT specialist from accessing the employees’ emails and phone conversations help more people? The answer is no since it would put the company’s security at risk. The company would rather lose its few employees compared to the huge number of customers who Tinder relies on to function. In the event that the firm loses the employees’, they can employ others.
Alexander, J. (2015). How Technology is Killing Privacy.
Friedewald, M., & Pohoryles, R. J. (2013). Technology and privacy: The European Journal of Social Science Research.
Kohl, M. (2015). Kant on determinism and the categorical imperative. Ethics, 125(2), 331-356.
Mill, J. S. (2016). Utilitarianism. In Seven masterpieces of philosophy (pp. 337-383). Routledge.
Schess, N. B. (2012). Then and Now: How Technology Has Changed the Workplace. Hofstra Lab. & Emp. LJ, 30, 435.
Serbu, R., & Rotariu, I. (2015). Privacy versus security in the Internet Era. Procedia Economics and Finance. 73-76.
Van den Hoven, J., Blaauw, M., Pieters, W., & Warnier, M. (2014). Privacy and information technology: The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.