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Ethical Dilemma using DET Technique Assignment Help
The below essay is prepared over the Doing Ethics Techniques and the appropriate format is followed. With the help of the DET, it is analysed that how an ethical dilemma get resolved by following the DET steps. Below essay helps in getting a better understanding of the use of the above case scenario.
The case: -
These days several updates on the news of “Verizon buying Yahoo” can easily be observed. This deal has been in the controversies for being unethical to the current customers of Yahoo Inc. Yahoo is a multinational IT company having a large number of active users. Yahoo possesses some private data of all these users. The company is not in a good financial phase after being outpaced by some of its competitors. So it has decided to sell its core web assets to the highest bidder. A leading wireless communications service provider in U.S. “Verizon Communications” has agreed to close the deal with Yahoo (B. Lee, 2017). Yahoo is not selling everything it has; some of the functional parts will still remain unsold. Now the issue is with the private consumer data that is at stake in this deal.
Facts with a number: -
Both Yahoo and Verizon are multinational companies operating actively in almost every part of the world. Yahoo mail has a large number of 225 million registered users all around the world (Smith, 2017). It has over 1 billion active monthly users. 8500 full-time employees of the company are also entitled to be working for Verizon after the deal closing (Fiegerman, 2017). On the other hand, Verizon communications have 141 million subscribers and 188,200 employees (Verizon.com, 2017). Verizon had agreed to buy the core assets of Yahoo for $4.83 billion in May 2016 but there are some negotiations still under process (Shepardson and Toonkel, 2017). These figures show that despite having more employees Verizon has access to a smaller user count than Yahoo.
Explanation of Ethical issues: -
Yahoo as an email service provider has all rights to sell its infrastructure and technology to Verizon, but it is not the owner of the private data of the users. If the deal with Verizon closes without addressing this issue, this will lead to violating the privacy of users. Some social media houses have also highlighted their concerns about the plans Verizon may have for the data (TNS, 2017). Verizon is a telecommunication company which can also be benefitted by using the contact information of yahoo users for advertising their services.
A company can always sell its infrastructure and technologies, but there is no way to sell the reputation it has gained among its users. A user is asked to provide his details only if he trusts the company for not using it illegally. The users of Yahoo may not be comfortable with the fact that their personal information will now belong to Verizon. The perspective of Verizon in this deal is still a matter of doubt according to some media houses. In the online world, Yahoo may seem to be a very big company with huge user base, but it hardly has the physical infrastructure to match those numbers if compared to some of the offline public sector services (Corporate Offices & Headquarters, 2017). So, the assets of Yahoo are considered to be more digital than physical.
Affected parties: -
Yahoo has a very broad range of users. People of almost all the countries, communities, ethnicities are somehow involved in sharing their information with Yahoo. Acknowledging all of these users collectively is practically impossible. Some of these people are not even aware of their information being sold to be used by some other company which is unknown to them. The media has raised the issue but it does not suggest any possible solution to the problem. An end user whose contact information gets exposed to the advertisers may face some serious problems like spamming, but yet they don’t know whom to blame for it.
Ethical issue and implications
Yahoo Inc. has been reducing their workforce since 2014 for cost cutting purposes. There were 14,300 employees in 2007 working for the company, but the financial failure has dragged the numbers down to 8,500 employees in the year 2016 (Statista, 2017).And this trend is not supposed to be changing soon. Many current employees are under pressure of losing their jobs. Also, the former CEO of Yahoo Marissa Mayer has said that she’s planning to stay in the company but her future in Yahoo was unclear after the closing of Verizon deal (Crowe, 2017). In all of these conditions, the future of the employees of Yahoo is uncertain. Verizon may also like to share the workforce between both of the ventures. This event may also lead to exposing the internal technical information about Yahoo’s security features.
Steps in order to resolve the ethical dilemma
There are certain steps taken into consideration for the purpose of resolving an ethical dilemma. These best suitable options get analysed from the available options. There are some steps get followed such as: -
Firstly, there is need to upgrade the yahoo services on overall platforms so that its utilisation get increased.
Secondly, they need to upgrade their security system so that users utilise their services trustfully.
Thirdly, they need to renew their security system to safeguard their customer’s information.
Fourthly, they need to make their services user-friendly so that users make efficient use of it.
An unbiased authority may interfere in the case, and figure out a mutually acceptable solution for all the concerned parties.
Yahoo can step back from its commitment of handing over the user community combined with their online services platform.
Verizon can send a request to all the users of Yahoo to allow them using their personal information.
Yahoo can ask the users to decide whether they want to continue with Verizon handling their information management or they want to stop using their services.
Verizon can commit to assuring all the users of Yahoo that, it will not be using their contact details without their permission and will respect their privacy.
Best suitable option
The best solution would be to assure the privacy of the end level users as a priority. Verizon can ask for the user’s permission with an assurance of their respect to the user’s privacy. This step will create a faith in customers towards Verizon, and it will also be the correct step ethically. Some users may choose to stop using the services, but the new faithful relation with the future customers will last longer for Verizon than the decrease in user count.
(TNS), D. (2017). Consumer Confidential: Your privacy: Verizon’s takeover of Yahoo is all about user data. [online] The Crescent-News. Available at: http://www.crescent-news.com/business/consumer-confidential-your-privacy-verizon-s-takeover-of-yahoo-is/article_32778f44-b95a-5ac2-bb1a-8e94312bca02.html [Accessed 16 Mar. 2017].
B. Lee, T. (2017). Verizon’s purchase of Yahoo, explained. [online] Vox. Available at: http://www.vox.com/2016/7/25/12267540/verizon-yahoo-purchase-explained [Accessed 16 Mar. 2017].
Corporate Offices & Headquarters. (2017). Yahoo Corporate Office - Corporate Offices & Headquarters. [online] Available at: https://corporateofficehq.com/yahoo-corporate-office [Accessed 16 Mar. 2017].
Crowe, P. (2017). MARISSA MAYER: I'm planning to stay. [online] Business Insider. Available at: http://www.businessinsider.in/MARISSA-MAYER-Im-planning-to-stay/articleshow/53380606.cms [Accessed 16 Mar. 2017].
Fiegerman, S. (2017). One month after acquisition, Yahoo employees unsure about their future. [online] CNNMoney. Available at: http://money.cnn.com/2016/08/26/technology/yahoo-acquisition-whats-next/ [Accessed 16 Mar. 2017].
Help.yahoo.com. (2017). Yahoo Security Notice December 14, 2016 | Account Help - SLN27925. [online] Available at: https://help.yahoo.com/kb/index?locale=en_IN&page=content&y=PROD_ACCT&id=SLN27925&actp=productlink [Accessed 16 Mar. 2017].
Shepardson, D. and Toonkel, J. (2017). Verizon close to Yahoo deal, price cut of $250-350 million: sources. [online] Reuters. Available at: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-yahoo-m-a-verizon-idUSKBN15U21R [Accessed 16 Mar. 2017].
Smith, C. (2017). 65 Amazing Yahoo Statistics. [online] DMR. Available at: http://expandedramblings.com/index.php/yahoo-statistics/ [Accessed 16 Mar. 2017].
Statista, (2017). Global Yahoo employees 2016 | Statistic. [online] Statista. Available at: https://www.statista.com/statistics/260291/number-of-full-time-yahoo-employees/ [Accessed 16 Mar. 2017].
Thielman, S. (2017). Yahoo hack: 1bn accounts compromised by biggest data breach in history. [online] the Guardian. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/dec/14/yahoo-hack-security-of-one-billion-accounts-breached [Accessed 16 Mar. 2017].
Verizon.com. (2017). About Verizon. [online] Available at: http://www.verizon.com/about/ [Accessed 16 Mar. 2017].