Privacy-Related Matrix

Privacy-RelatedMatrix

Privacy-RelatedMatrix

Onlineshoppingcompanieshavetheprimaryresponsibilityof protectingtheinformationprovidedby their customersin orderto ensurethatsuchinformationis not accessedby cybercriminals. Thisis criticalgiventhatthenumberof online shoppershas beenincreasingexponentially in therecentpast(National Statistics, 2014 andWood, 2014). Thispaperwill addressa private-related matrix,which showsdifferentactionsthat eachof thekeystakeholders (includingtheonline vendors,online shoppers,sitedevelopers, andaffectedsiteusers) should taketo protecttheprivacyof online shoppers.

Figure1:Ethical dilemmamatrix

Ethical dilemma: Privacy policies without privacy protection

Stakeholders

Confidentiality

Non-malificence

Respect for others

1. Online merchants

Have a duty to put adequate measures to protect the confidential information of online buyers.

Have a duty to protect online vendors from harms caused by hackers.

Have a duty to honor and respect the rights to privacy of the online buyers.

2. Online buyers

Should determine sites that display the privacy protection policy.

Should identify and shop on sites that protect them from all harms related with cybercrime.

Should identify and use sites that respect their rights to privacy.

3. Site developers

Should advice their online vendor clients on significance of ensuring the confidentiality of online shoppers.

Should develop and encrypt online shopping sites that they develop for online vendors.

Should respect online vendors and shoppers by developing sites that do not subject them to the risk of hacking.

4. Affected online shoppers

Should report the violation of their confidentiality rights to online vendors and the relevant anti-cybercrime agencies.

Have a duty to report the harms caused to them by hackers and shop on safe sites in the future.

Should report data breaches in respectful ways.

Reasonsforchoosingtheethicaldilemma:Privacy policieswithout privacyprotection

Althoughtechnological advancesgivea promiseof a largenumberof benefitsto siteusers, there is a highriskof losingone’sprivacyto cybercriminals.To thisend,theprivacyprotectionpolicydisplayedon theshoppingsitesis criticalbecauseitshowsthelevel of securitythatthesiteownershaveputinplaceto securetheprivateinformationof theonline shoppers.Accordingto Statista(2014)cybercrime has beenon theincreasewhereabout130 million accountsof customerswhouseonline serviceswerecompromisedin 2014. Thesecompromisesinvolvedthestealingof creditdetailsof online customers.EPIC(1999) identifiedthatabout 18 % of theonline shoppingsitesdonot providetheprivacyprotectionpolicy,which putstheprivatedetailsof thesiteusers at risk.Thismakestheethicalissueof privacypolicieswithout privacyprotectiona significantissueworthof analysis.

Reasonsforselectingthethree principles

Confidentiality

Preservingtheconfidentiality is among thecentralwaysof treatingotherpeoplewith respectanddignity.Thisprincipleimpliesthattheinformationprovidedby theuser of a givenserviceshould not beaccessedby otherpersons withouttheconsentof theserviceuser (Fieser &amp Dowden, 2013). Thisprinciplewasselectedbecauseitstresseson thesignificanceof preservingtheconfidentiality of creditinformationthat is providedby online shoppers.

Non-maleficence

Thisprincipleholdsthatanyactionshould seekto avoidunnecessaryharmthat might arisefrom actsof omissionorcommission.Therefore,imposingunreasonableinjurieson otherpeopleshould be consideredas negligence(Fieser &amp Dowden, 2013). Similarly,theactof omittingtheprivacypolicieson theonline shoppingsitessubjectsthesiteusers to theharmsthat might be causedby cybercriminals.Thisprinciplewasselectedbecauseitindicatestheimportanceof protectingonline shoppersby placingtheprivacyprotectionpolicieson theshoppingsites.

Respectforothers

Respectingothers facilitatesan interactionin which differententitieshaveagenciesthat in turnallowthem to makechoices.Thisprinciplerecognizestherightto autonomyas wellas theneedto protectthosewhoare disadvantaged andcannot practicetheright(Fieser &amp Dowden, 2013). Theprinciplewasselectedbecauseithas a directrelationshipwith theethicaldilemmabeingconsidered.Boththeonline vendorandshoppershould treateachotherwith duerespectandalloweachotherto practicetheir rightto makefreechoices.

Analyzingtheresearchusedto identifytheactions

Theresearchconductedandreportedby EPICin 1999 providedsufficientinformationthat helpedin thedeterminationof actionsincludedin thematrix.Theresearchwasa surveyconductedon100 popularshoppingwebsites. Theobjectiveof theresearchwasto assesswhethertheownersof online shoppingsiteshadputadequatemeasuresandpolicies in place in order to&nbspprotecttheprivacyof theincreasingnumberof online shoppers(EPIC,1999). Thisresearchrevealedthattheonline merchantsfailedto protecttheprivacyof their online customers.Forexample,thefindingsof theresearchindicatedthat18 out of 100 popularonline shoppingsitesdidnot havea privacypolicy(EPIC,1999). Thestudyalsorevealedthatnone out of a 100 online shoppingsitehadcomplied with therequirementsof Fair Information Practices. Moreover,thefewprivacypoliciesdisplayedon someonline shoppingsiteswerefoundto be confusing,inconsistent,andincomplete.

Thefindingsreportedin theresearchindicatethattheonline merchantsfailedintheir dutyto protecttheir customer’sprivateinformation.Althoughitis theprimaryroleof merchantsto protectthesiteusers, online buyersshould alsohavea dutyto assesstheonline shoppingsitesandusethosethat haveadequateprivacyprotectionpoliciesandprotectsthem from harms.In addition,professionalsitedevelopers havea dutyto advisetheonline merchantson thesignificanceof enhancingtheconfidentiality of theinformationprovidedby online shoppers.Online shopperswhoseprivateinformationhas alreadybeenbreached oraccessedby authorizedpersonshavea dutyto reportthebreachof confidentiality to merchantsandrelevantauthorities.Actionscontainedin thematrixindicatetheresponsibilitiesof eachstakeholder (includingtheonline shoppers,online merchants,sitedevelopers, andshopperswhohavebeenaffectedby thebreachof rightsto privacy)havea roleto play,butthoserolesshould be consistentwith thebasicprinciplesof normativeethics.

Conclusion

Therightto privacyis a controversialtopic,especiallyin thefieldof online shopping.Thisis becausetheprivateinformationprovidedby online shoppersis usuallyat a highriskof beingattackedby hackers. Thebasicprinciplesof normativeethicsprovidesufficientconvictionsexplainingwhyonline merchantsshould havecredible privacy policies.Moreover,thematrix(Figure 1) showsthatallstakeholders (includingtheonline merchants,online shoppers,sitedevelopers, andaffectedshoppers)should takethenecessaryactionsto safeguard theprivacyof online shoppers.

References

EPIC(1999). Suffer beware III: Privacy policies without privacyprotection. EPIC.Retrieved February 22, 2015, fromhttps://epic.org/reports/surfer-beware3.html

Fieser,J. &amp Dowden, B. (2013). Ethics.Knoxville, TN: University of Tennessee.

NationalStatistics (2014). Statistical bulletin: Retail sales, May 2014.NationalStatistics.Retrieved February 22, 2015, fromhttp://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/rsi/retail-sales/may-2014/stb-rsi-may-2014.html

Statista(2014). Statistics and marketing data on cyber crime. Statista.Retrieved February 22, 2015, fromhttp://www.statista.com/markets/424/topic/1065/cyber-crime/

Wood,E. (2014, October 10). Online shopping sees 30 % rise betweenmidnight and 6 am. TheGuardian.Retrieved February 22, 2015, fromhttp://www.theguardian.com/money/2014/oct/10/internet-online-shopping-30-per-cent-rise-midnight-6am-john-lewis

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