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Should Yahoo have been forced to turn over Justin Ellsworth's email to his Parents - Essay Example

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It is part of a recorded history now that the Yahoo management has handed over the email contents of Justin Ellsworth, the 20-year-old American Marine who was killed defusing a home made bomb in Iraq on November 13, 2004, to his parents following a ruling by an Oakland…
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Should Yahoo have been forced to turn over Justin Ellsworths email to his Parents
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Download file to see previous pages There is a view that the Yahoo management should have acted swiftly and handed over the email documents to the parents of the killed Marine soon after their asking without waiting for the court order. The argument that the Yahoo management should have been forced somehow to comply with the parents’ request without waiting for the court order does not stand logic as it would have itself violated its own privacy agreement in such a case.
In declining to accept the parents’ request, Yahoo went purely by the deontological part of the ethics while ignoring the utilitarian part. Utilitarian theory of the ethics requires people to take into consideration the resulting consequences of a particular action (Grunig & White, 1992) on the people or events involved. Yahoo knows better that a utilitarian approach would sometimes lead to problems despite its positive effects. Yahoo must have carefully assessed the positive and
Had Yahoo immediately handed over the email contents to the parents when they asked, they would have certainly felt happy and satisfied on that count. This is certainly a positive effect when viewed from the parents’ angle but it would have also produced its negative consequences for the Yahoo Management. In such a case, the company would have violated its own privacy policy of protecting the interests of its email users and attracted criticism. This was clear from the statement of the Yahoo spokeswoman Mary Osako who disclosed that they would abide by the court order and hand over the email contents to Justin’s parents indicating that they would never deviate from their well established privacy policy but would only act on the directions of a court of law (Chambers, 2005).
Certainly, Yahoo followed the deontological theories of ethics which emphasize adherence to a stated policy and commitment to rules and regulations. The logic of the deontological ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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