Ethical Practices In Data Privacy: Stakeholders And Professional Bodies

Ethical concerns in data privacy

Data privacy has become one of the major concern in modern world due to advancement in technology. Information technology ethical practices requires individuals and organizations to store any personal data secure (Madary & Metzinger 2016, pp. 3). Analysis of case studies shows that, all stakeholders were reluctant in enforcing required ethical practices. These ethical practices have been developed by professional bodies such as ACS, ACM and IEEE to serve as guidelines in promoting technological professionalism. A review of all stakeholders shows that, some of the organizations tried to act professionally and according to professional bodies’ requirements. However, at some instances each stakeholder demonstrates a state of failure in upholding required professional practices. Facebook acted in good faith to allow other application interface with it to access some data but this was left open without being enforced by laws (Sher 2018, pp. 8). This paper would focus on ethical practices as demonstrated by stakeholders and professional bodies practice to inforce professionalism in technological field.      

Save Time On Research and Writing
Hire a Pro to Write You a 100% Plagiarism-Free Paper.
Get My Paper

Part A

From the case studies, the following ethical concerns are observable; data access from Facebook by third parties without account owners consent. Personal data is subject to account owner and not friends connected on social media. It is not justifiable for social media user personal data to be made public through friends (Hall 2018, pp. 45). As a Facebook user connected to too many friends, registering to a third party application through Facebook account does not allow Facebook Company to release any personal data from other accounts. It is quite unbelievable to learn that, individual access from one account can be used to release data from all inter-connected friends. This may result to hacking of such accounts and be used to commit crimes such as cybercrime, cyberterrorism and cyber bullying without consent of the account owner (Sher 2018, pp. 2). It is a reality release of such information by Facebook has been used to influence American presidential campaign since year 2014. Information was being used to reach out to select group of voters with specific message which could have political implications.

 Next, information ownership by the subject person is very important as it promotes privacy on data collection and use. Application developers are required to keep information they collect from users private and confidential (Luthans & Doh 2018, pp. 78-79). It would not be reasonable that application users are duped to give out information which would later be used for other purposes apart from the promised one. Information privacy is very important because if it is not maintained, such data would be used to plan erroneous events. To make it reality, from Cambridge and Facebook case study, such information was used to locate the number of people in specific areas and plan the message that might influence such people to have political inclination. This criterion was used to give President Trump political advantage compared to Clinton (Cadwalladr 2018, pp. 5). Considering the number of users o Facebook including teenagers, it is possible to predict the number of people in a given location. Therefore, such information can be used to plan terrorism activities when targeting densely populated areas.

Stakeholders’ responsibilities and failures

Finally, there are some issues when it comes to rules that governs collection and storage of personal information. Any organization that targets to collect information should clearly demonstrate the need to collect such information and security measures to protect such information (Dereli et al 2014, pp. 49-50. In this case, Facebook collects information from its clients and stores it with a promise of keeping it secure and not to release it without owners consent. Considering rules and regulations put in place by congress to secure personal data and enhance data privacy, more awareness is required to help general public keep personal data secure. Rules that governs collection and storage of data seems to have some loopholes that organizations and some individuals are bypassing to misuse personal data for private gains. Alexsandr Kogan collected personal information from users legally but passing such sensitive information to third parties and accessing other peoples’ information without their knowledge raises question on information trust (Cadwalladr 2018, pp. 5). Failing to have elaborate rules that stipulates collection and use of information by either organizations or individuals poses risks to general public on misuse of their personal data.  

Save Time On Research and Writing
Hire a Pro to Write You a 100% Plagiarism-Free Paper.
Get My Paper

Part B

The above ethical issues have been inflicted by several stakeholders who had some motives. Access of personal data through friends over Facebook accounts is an issue that shows Facebook did not provide required security to its customers’ data. As the company responsible for collection and storage of information, Facebook has all responsibilities to make sure there is no access to personal information without consent (Oliver 2018, p. 1). The second stakeholder is Facebook users. They did not have much consideration on signing up over applications that access personal data as well as request access to any other connected friend. It is up to the responsibility of system users to make sure any information provided to organizations would be used and stored securely. In case they feel information required might be used inappropriately, they should be free to decline the request of collecting such data (Ilyuk 2018, p. 2). The last stakeholder is the government which seems to have failed in enacting rules that makes sure personal information collected is securely stored and used without sharing to third parties.

Part C

Through analysis of Facebook and Cambridge case study, there some principles that can be attributed to all stakeholders. Deontology is the principle that explains individual responsibilities on any event done (Dressler 2018, pp. 85). These responsibilities whether performed accordingly or not, have some consequences that are directly associated to specific stakeholder. It is a fact that Facebook had a responsibility of collecting and storing its customers’ data securely. Ontology principle is applicable to Facebook Company because it is the key player mandated to protect information it collects from general public. The same principle applies to government by failing to have strict rules that protects public from misuse by individuals and organizations. The next principle is virtue of ethics which explains need for Facebook users to be extra careful when signing agreement with application developers. Despite system users being satisfied by use of data provided to them by Alexsandr Kogan, signing and allowing Kogan application to access personal data and friends’ data shows naivety and carelessness. Facebook users’ acted without considering ethical implications if subject organization fails to uphold data privacy concerns as it happened with Facebook and Kogan (Oliver 2018, p. 1). This principle is directly linked to Facebook users because they did not uphold required data privacy rules to read all users agreements before providing access to sensitive data. Lastly, the principle of ethical pluralism creates an open room to accommodate all parties without any due consideration because to divergent views. This principle tries as much as possible to accommodate all groups despite existence of different opinions from stakeholders. This principle applies to government because it formulates rules and regulations that governs data collection and providing security to personal information (Scholz et al 2018, pp. 2071). As much as government tries to protect personal information from misuse by agencies and individuals, it should strive hard to factor all parties. It should collect views from all groups, weigh collected opinions and formulate regulations which are neutral to all parties.

Principles in promoting data privacy

Part D

As a prospective Information Technology specialist, it is good to advocate and practice required ethical issues to make sure individual sensitive data is secure and safe (Oinas-Kukkonen, & Harjumaa 2018, pp. 105). Disclosing personal data to other applications is quite ridiculous and cannot be subject to discussion. Ownership of information should be enforced with rules and regulations to make sure it remains with only authorized bodies. Alexsandr Kogan giving access to personal data to Cambridge analytica is a practice beyond understanding because rules and ethical practices advocate any individuals or body not to share personal data without written consent. Information Specialists are required to understand, practice justice ethics and apply these principle fairly. I really advocate and find my practices aligned to this principle. In cases of unethical concerns as it was observed in Cambridge analytica, government, Facebook and Alexsandr Kogan, it is important to distribute all risks equally to relevant bodies (Graham-Harrison & Cadwalladr 2018, pp. 3). Through application of justice ethics, Facebook and its users are somewhat right because both are working on some enacted rules that both parties are obligated to abide by before coming into terms (McGuinness, & Simon 2018, pp. 210). Therefore, it would be wrong to base all claims on Facebook while its clear its users also had some obligations of reading provided terms and act accordingly.

Additionally, government’s failure to enforce rules and regulations that protect system users from deceptive promises by some organizations and individuals is another ethical concern. The principle of universalism which puts into practice evaluation of what actions should be classified as right or wrong. As the formulation of regulations to protect personal data, it is important to understand that there will always be a single truth (Cvach, Kahsay & Shamoun 2018, pp. 36). Any rule should clearly outline and define required norms and state with a differential boundary where truth and wrong lies. I would advocate government effort to protect citizens from untrusted companies and individuals. In this regard, government remains to be right because it must consider all stakeholders’ claims before defining such boundaries. Before defining what to consider as either wrong or right, government should weigh up several principles and guidelines (Bernal 2018, p. 156). Through application of Justice Ethics, I find government to be right because it is not simple to come up with regulations that are diverse and generally acceptable by all parties. Finding what is right and wrong while putting into practice just application of rule of law is quite challenging as there is need for universal application of law.

Implications for IT specialists

Part A

Data mining involves collection and storage of data from any source such as application users and other databases. Information Technology code of conduct/ethics bounds all information users as well as developers to be responsible to the personal data they collect. To have an understanding of individual reasoning, psychology tries to analyze all concepts in relationship dimensions (Hersh 2010, p. 197). Without analyzing how individuals interact with friends, it would be difficult to study psychology. In order to facilitate psychological study, Information Technology bodies such as Australian Computer Society (ACS) and other bodies such as Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) should formulate guidelines that govern data mining through software. The first aspect that these bodies should consider is the security of the collected data. It is important to understand that most of the personal information given by citizens is the same information used by sensitive organizations such as banks and security agencies. Exposing such sensitive information to other unauthorized organizations may compromise the integrity of the collected data (Zhang, Hall & Baddoo 2011, p. 182). Beside integrity of the data, with advanced technological application in the industrial market, personal profile can be used by unauthorized persons to commit crimes. This subjects innocent person to criminal battle not aware off.  A good example is in money laundering activities which has subjected so many innocent people to court proceedings and being blacklisted by government agencies and international bodies. In this regard, personal data is quite important and cannot be subject to those who collect it. ACS, IEEE and ACM bodies should come up with regulations which governs collection and storage of personal data collected for psychological studies (Barlinska, Szuster & Winiewski 2013, pp. 40-41). There should be strict rules and implications that puts it clearly the consequences, if any individual or an organization does not protect personal information collected from citizens.

Part B

IEEE provides guideline to define standards required in electronics and communication as well as constraints in the process of designing all electronic and communication system. It is a composition of many disciplines in the industry. Contrary, Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) is specific to computer science majors only (Graham-Harrison & Cadwalladr 2018, pp. 3). It provides guidelines and resources required by computer scientist to advance the discipline. It does not provide more details on importance and over reliance to detailed regulations. There are notable differences on the formatting provided by ACM, ACS and IEEE. All these differences are meant to provide diversity in technological field.  

All these bodies are focused on outlining required practices that each and every member of the body should focus to achieve. All these bodies are meant to provide an insight on technological understanding, improvement as well as professional competence required in the industry. Additionally, they are focused on providing required assistance to workmate and colleagues in development of carriers (Luthans & Doh 2018, pp. 78-79). ACS, IEEE and ACM strive hard to make sure all computer professionals practice and uphold required moral values in the industry. These similarities exist because all these bodies are focused on creating moral values in technology innovation and uses.


Technological innovations have come up ethical practices that require regulation to protect its users from losing required privacy. Initially, technology seemed to be avenues for development but its growth has come up with practices which are unethical. Systems are being developed to help human beings make life simple without considering social implications it may have in return. It is very difficult to claim there is privacy in this error when all personal information has been dumped online. When such sensitive information is collected through systems and application, information owners have trust on the data collection organization or individual. Beside these trust, application and system users are guaranteed of non-disclosure of information. Facebook and Cambridge analytica case study gives a real life example because Facebook users believe data collected is meant for authentication purpose only. It has come as a surprise that, Facebook do give access to third party applications to access personal data. As this is not enough, third party applications are able to extract all Facebook friends’ data by gaining access to just single Facebook account.

Barlinska, J., Szuster, A. and Winiewski, M., 2013. Cyberbullying among adolescent bystanders: Role of the communication medium, form of violence, and empathy. Journal of Community & Applied Social Psychology, 23(1), pp.37-51.

Bernal, P., 2018. The Internet, Warts and All: Free Speech, Privacy and Truth (Vol. 48). Cambridge University Press. pp, 156.

Cadwalladr, C. (2018). ‘We’re waiting for answers’: Facebook, Brexit and 40 questions.The Guardian. Available at: [Accessed 26 Aug. 2018].

Cvach, M., Kahsay, M.S. and Shamoun, M., 2018. Privacy online: Exploring consumers’ evaluation of privacy issues in relation to personalised advertisement when buying online.pp, 25-63.

Dereli, T., Co?kun, Y., Kolker, E., Guner, O., Ag?rba?l?, M. and Ozdemir, V., 2014. Big data and ethics review for health systems research in LMICs: understanding risk, uncertainty and ignorance and catching the black swans. The American Journal of Bioethics, 14(2), pp.48-50.

Dressler, V., 2018. Framing Privacy in Digital Collections with Ethical Decision Making. Synthesis Lectures on Information concepts, Retrieval, and Services, 10(3), pp.i-85.

Graham-Harrison, E. and Cadwalladr, C. (2018). Revealed: 50 million Facebook profiles harvested for Cambridge Analytica in major data breach. The Guardian. Available at: [Accessed 26 Aug. 2018].

Hall, M.A., Orentlicher, D., Bobinski, M.A., Bagley, N. and Cohen, I.G., 2018. Health care law and ethics. Wolters Kluwer Law & Business, pp. 45.

Hersh, W., 2010. The health information technology workforce: estimations of demands and a framework for requirements. Applied clinical informatics, 1(2), p.197.

Ilyuk, Y., 2018. Social media and non-democracy: The analysis of daily Facebook use by political opposition in Belarus. pp, 1-2.

Luthans, F. and Doh, J.P., 2018. International management: Culture, strategy, and behavior. McGraw-Hill, pp. 78-83.

Madary, M. and Metzinger, T.K., 2016. Real virtuality: a code of ethical conduct. Recommendations for good scientific practice and the consumers of VR-technology. Frontiers in Robotics and AI, 3, p.3.

McGuinness, D. and Simon, A., 2018. Information disclosure, privacy behaviours, and attitudes regarding employer surveillance of social networking sites. IFLA Journal, 44(3), pp.203-222.

Oinas-Kukkonen, H. and Harjumaa, M., 2018. Persuasive systems design: key issues, process model and system features. In Routledge Handbook of Policy Design (pp. 105-123). Routledge.

Oliver, N., 2018. 22 The tyranny of data? The bright and dark sides of algorithmic decision making for public policy making. Assessing the impact of machine intelligence on human behaviour: an interdisciplinary endeavour, p.1.

Scholz, R.W., Bartelsman, E.J., Diefenbach, S., Franke, L., Grunwald, A., Helbing, D., Hill, R., Hilty, L., Höjer, M., Klauser, S. and Montag, C., 2018. Unintended Side Effects of the Digital Transition: European Scientists’ Messages from a Proposition-Based Expert Round Table. Sustainability (2071-1050), 10(6).

Sher, I. 2018. How Cambridge Analytica’s Facebook targeting model really worked – according to the person who built it. The Conversation. Available at: [Accessed 26 Aug. 2018].

Zhang, M., Hall, T. and Baddoo, N., 2011. Code bad smells: a review of current knowledge. Journal of Software Maintenance and Evolution: research and practice, 23(3), pp.179-202.