Ethical theories discussion - contract, utilitarianism, virtue, and deontology


The entire project will revolve around a case where the ethical theories such as contract, utilitarianism, virtue, and deontology. On the other hand, ethics in general terms can be said as one of the vital components that judge whether a situation or a person is right or wrong. The utilitarianism is generally one of the subdivisions of the consequentialism. It is generally the action which suggests if it is morally right and the result of the action is favorable than unfavorable to everybody.  However, there are different types of utilitarianism. Virtue is that ethical theory suggests that there are a certain set of rules that every people should follow in their day-to-day life. Furthermore, as per the deontology ethics, it judges the morality of an action with regards to the rules.


It has been mentioned that the project will mainly study the issues that are directly related to the information communication technology which is also referred as ICT. The ethical issues are divided into the four major categories such as privacy, property, accuracy, and accessibility. It is the right of every person across the globe that they have the right not to share any type of information about themselves to others as their privacy is closely related to this. If someone has some of the private information then they can have the unauthorized access which can attack the system of a user. In the recent times, it has been noticed that almost everyone across the globe does a transaction via the internet. Hence, in this segment, the data security and privacy become the biggest issue for them (Broad, 2014).
Throwing light on the above-mentioned discussion one of the case has been selected that will be closely studied. It has been witnessed that the Siri-style assistants and the mobile phones are considered to be one of the biggest threats to the world of online security. For more than a decade, it has been observed that every human being has become directly dependant on the mobile phone and also to their assistant. Everyone thinks that life has become easier by the mobile assistant like Siri but in reality, the security and privacy of the users have become questionable. When some of the questions by the users have been asked to the Siri then a lot of private data of the user is quite easily accessible by these mobile assistants.
Arguably, Siri is also regarded as one of the most convenient companions by the user but it is also connected with some of the privacy issues. Apple Inc is the birth giver of Siri. It has been reported by a lot of users that when they have left their mobile phones without setting a password when someone has used Siri where their privacy was at stake at that point of time as a lot of private information of the user is accessed within few seconds by another person (Pardo and Siemens, 2014). Mobile phones are becoming more sophisticated day by day hence the more upgraded the system is more privacy issues are associated with it. On the contrary, there are a lot of classical theories that can be associated with this case. Classical ethical theories have a crystal clear view of the reality of morality.   
 According to the moral absolutism, it can be said that even if Apple claims that their innovation Siri is innocent and it is not at all harmful to the human beings still it can be claimed that exposing someone's private information without their consent is a serious crime regardless of the situation (Oxley, 2011). Contrasting the theory with the specific case it can be also said that some actions are wrong irrespective of the circumstances with regards to the act. Hence, wrong and right are considered to be the universal truths the ethical standards are applicable to everyone no matter how big the person or an organization may be. It is also of the ethical theories that will help the users of Siri to judge the actions of Apple to a large extent. Secondly, by applying the moral relativism theory in this case it can be said that there is no such thing as moral standards. Hence, from this point of view, Siri is neither good nor not bad.
However, the above-mentioned phenomenon can also vary from time to time and place to place. It can be also said that each and every user of Siri should be contented with regards to the morality of their place and time (Shafer-Landau, 2012). Moreover, there are structures of the relativism namely the cultural relativism and subjectivism. Contrasting subjectivism with this case it can be suggested that each of the users around the globe should act according to what they feel is right for the situation for example, if they think Siri is harmful to them then they can simply ignore/stop it by going to the settings if not then they can use it at their own risk keeping in mind the data and privacy security associated with it. Additionally, if the users judge Siri as per the cultural relativism then they can think bad or good everything simply depends on Apple with regards to its ethical values. 
From the viewpoint of the consequentialism, it can be said that users can also feel that whether Siri is good or bad for them can be only judged when they experience the effect after using the mobile assistant completely. The advantages of Siri can overshadow the data and privacy-related issue (Schuler, 2013). In this segment also there are few types of consequentialism. In terms of utilitarianism, it can be said that the users who are using Siri can find their ultimate pleasure and pain by their intrinsic values. Every human being on earth is mainly influenced by the pleasure and pain. The theory also suggests that if the actions are correct then it can result in the lowest net costs or the greatest net benefits. Apple must consider the mobile assistant that they are providing to their consumer can be affected by it to a great extent. Hence, it must be beneficial for them. There are a lot of questions that are raised by the cyber expert such as, as the technology world is upgrading day by day but to what extent the individual privacy is threatened? What are the consequences if the Smartphone does not protect the privacy of an individual? And etcetera.


From the above-mentioned discussion, some of the actions can be suggested for controlling the ethical issues. Firstly, the problem must be identified when it is in the first stage. Secondly, relevant data should be gathered for resolving the issue. Thirdly, there are lot researchers who are suggesting that the voiceprints can be kept in a more private manner by the users by the method of having one part of the processed data carried out in the right manner with regards to a mobile phone. Lastly, the user can also go to the settings options on their iPhone and ensure that when someone is trying to access Siri it will require a password.


The above-mentioned study has highlighted one of the most prominent ethical issues that are related to the mobile phone assistant Siri. It has been observed that the world is progressing on a daily basis and so is the technology. For making life easier and convenient for their users Apple has introduced Siri as the assistant for everyone in their day-to-day life. Arguably, there are some of the data and privacy-related issues that are attached to this.  The case study has been also contrasted with some of the classical ethical theories. From every theories point of view, the case which has been taken into account has been presented in a different manner. On the other hand, some of the recommendations for controlling and stopping the ethical issues have been suggested. 

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