DeVry ETHC 232 Week 5 Ethical Dilemma Accidental Exposure of A Client Information Essay

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DeVry ETHC 232 Week 5 Ethical Dilemma Accidental Exposure of A Client Information Essay


For the Peer Review, all students will submit by Wednesday their Introduction and Background of the Case for their Ethical Dilemma Course Project. Each student will respond to the submissions of at least two other students using either a written response or a spoken audio recording that offers an Application of the Law and Code of Ethics to the case.

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Application of the Law

Identify the legal issues (e.g., specific laws or rules) that were violated or that might have arisen or that could have been invoked (Constitutional law, statutory law, administrative law, case law, common law, civil law, criminal law, national law, international law). Name or list specific laws that apply or that you think might to the case. Cite all sources using APA documentation style.

Code of Ethics

Identify the professional and/or corporate code of ethics that applies to the case. Download and review Week 5: ETHC232 Professional Codes of Ethics. (Links to an external site.)

Using one of the professional codes on that list and/or, as appropriate, an online code from a business or industry that directly applies to the case, determine what the ethical priorities are and the nature of the commitment to ethical behavior. Identify in the code the stakeholders and the specific procedures or policies that clarify what is acceptable and unacceptable conduct. Detail some specific ways in which the interest and welfare of various stakeholders are protected. Apply the code to the circumstances of the case. Did the code of ethics apply effectively to the case? Would the outcome have changed had the stakeholders followed the principles and priorities of the code? What, if anything, is missing from the code that might have prevented the ethical issue in the first place?


Week 4 Ethical Dilemma Project – Application of Ethical Theories

Application of Ethical Theories

The Ethical Dilemma

The case’s key ethical dilemma is the accidental exposure of a client’s information through a data breach.

When organizations and companies are trusted with the client’s information, they are expected to protect the third parties’ data and information. This ethical dilemma involves ethics in cybersecurity and can be analyzed with ethical systems which include; deontology, utilitarianism, and duty oriented ethics to bring sensitivity and method to the human task of decision making.

                                                           Three Ethical Theories

Deontology Theory

According to deontology theory, actions are considered morally acceptable regarding the set standards and rules. The actions that comply with these rules are considered ethical. Kant says, “an action, to have moral worth, and must be done from duty.” (Schefczyk n.d). Man has to cultivate their moral worth. This implies that the First American Corporation breach was an evasion of someone’s duty by failing to employ good measures to protect the customer’s information and data. Kant also suggests the universal law, which states: “Act only according to that maxim whereby you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law” (Week 1 Lesson, 2019). Kant means that there are universal maxims that reflect universal absolute laws.  Therefore, according to Kant’s Deontology theory, American First Corporation should not have been reckless about the customer’s data, and they should have kept it very private from any unauthorized party.

The concept of “duty for duty’s sake” offers a significant guide for the actions of American First Company to protect its client’s data and assure customers of their data’s safety in the future. Kant argues that one acts out of duty for the sake of duty. The perfect duty given to the A.F.C to protect people’s details was to be carried for the sake of the managerial duty. Accidental exposure of these details triggered a customer trust breach because of failed duty by the Corporation. When a duty is not done perfectly, it violates the client and the organization’s ethical value agreement.

Utilitarianism Theory

Utilitarianism theory upholds the principle of overall human happiness. The utilitarian principle is considered by John Mill as the foundation of morals, as actions that promote happiness to humanity should be appraised, as actions that limit happiness should be avoided and discouraged (Schefczyk n.d). First American Corporation should have protected the customer’s data from promoting the happiness of its consumers. The breach of data either accidentally or intentionally disturbs trust among the consumers and risks losing security in the organization. Major elements that First American Corporation could consider were access, collection, rights, and clients’ preferences.

First American Corporation allowing their data to be accessed by the third party, as Brian Krebs reported, could not have offered any happiness to the clients. The dilemma about those who would access the main administrator’s portal interface, the frequency of checking the system and its errors, and maintaining high-level control of the data access would have been the cause of ethical issues in First American Corporation. Data is currently not “public good,” and both the company and the clients should seek to exercise data sharing that guarantees safety for both of them. Another cause of the alarm is on the clients’ side. According to the Corporation’s report, the spokesperson commented on the satisfaction of customer’s service in the organization because the clients would possibly consider opting out of the Corporation because of insecurities (Krebs, 2029, para 13). This means that due to their happiness, they were in a dilemma about choosing First American Corporation. Therefore, utilitarianism focuses on the outcome, or rather, consequentialism. The clients will be in a dilemma to choose F.A.C because they fear the consequences of leaked information. On the other hand, the company has experienced ethical issues that place it a crossroad on its operational safety and ethical validity.

Virtue-based Ethics

Aristotle suggests that people assume virtue through practice. Herschel & Miori (2017, p.32) argues that big data are currently being used for various reasons, including ethical and unethical purposes. While the deontological approach addresses the ethical duties and rules, virtue ethics is concerned about the person or group carrying out the actions. The First American Corporation is suffering an ethical dilemma because of virtues, subject to customer’s interests. When the breach happened in May 2019, questions have always arisen about the organization’s data management personnel’s virtues as the spokesperson attempted to respond to some of them. (Krebs, 2019, para, 13).

Some of the elements of virtue-based ethics include the attitude and character, the disposition, and traits that attract certain decision making among a group. For instance, First American Corporation is in a dilemma because of its virtues, data, and information management. Customers will attempt to make decisions in the dilemma of the values expressed by the concerned organization member. Therefore, the company’s employees in the department experiencing ethical issues should respond by ascertaining the customers about better and secure programs, better cyber services, and privacy. However, moral agents’ behavior and attitude are very influential in addressing moral or ethical concerns.

My Choice

Consequently, the deontology approach can effectively solve the dilemma of accidental exposure to the client’s data and information. There are key deontological concepts that can help solve the dilemma and make more informed decisions for the First American Corporation. One of them is “duty for duty’s sake,””virtue is its reward,” and “let justice be done though the heavens fall.” This implies that there are rules and standards expected for individuals and organizations to follow. F. A. C is such an organization with rules and set policies on managing and ensuring that ethics and good morals are practiced in the institutions. Elements of missed data, leaking information about the customers and exposing the company’s private details indicate that rules on entering data, access, and sharing of information can control.

Another perspective to look at the deontological approach in solving an organizational problem is that actions are good or bad according to the set of rules and guidelines. There is bad ethics with no code of duty and rules, and with a code of duty, rules, regulations, and guidelines, there are good or bad morals or actions. The rules act as an indicator or a check of conformity. Whereas people in the organizations follow the rules objectively, they will deliver good results.

In this regard, First American Corporation should have a mechanism to define issues relating to ethics and handling all its dilemmas. For example, the U.S Security Exchange Commission (S.E.C.) indulged in investigations to determine the breach of the land’s criminal laws or civil laws. The state’s body already has organs to determine the changing dynamics in the data and information management. Brook (2020) also addresses the criminal part of the cybersecurity caused by a data breach. The ethical case suggests that the company should adopt the deontological approach and develop strong terms to control its operations.

However, the mixed approach would also work efficiently to ensure that utilitarianism elements such as pleasure, joy, happiness, desire, and satisfaction are included in the deontological systems. Mixed theories can also be used interchangeably or a few at a time. The mixed approach tries to accommodate the dynamism of the organizational environment. For instance. The First American Corporation has a problem with securing its data systems. In as much as rules to control access and clients’ data privacy strategies are employed, the organization will also need to examine the customer’s satisfaction levels. Also, the virtue-based approach can be added in solving the problem alongside deontology theory. Virtue based approach is concerned with the character and attitude of the ethical agents. Rules and regulations suggested by deontological theories determine the behavior and attitudes composed in virtue theory. Thus, in the application, most of the ethical theories are closely linked, and they can be used interchangeably or in correspondence to solve the errors and mistakes of accidental data and information breach in the First American Corporation. For this case, utilitarianism, deontology, and virtue based ethics can explicate the case study of organizational ethics and dilemma.



Brook, C. (2020, September 25). SEC Looking into First American Breach. Retrieved from:’s%20massive%20breach%20at%20First,exposed%20885%20million%20records.&text=The%20data%20leak%20stemmed%20from,public%20personal%20information%2C%20without%20authentication.

Forziati, A. (2019, June 20). The 5 biggest data breaches in 2019 so far (And how they could have been prevented). Retrieved from

Herschel, R., & Miori, V. M. (2017). Ethics & big data. Technology in Society49, 31-36.

Krebs, B. (2019). First American Financial Corp. Leaked hundreds of millions of title insurance records — Krebs on security. Retrieved from

Schefczyk, M. (n.d.). John Stuart Mill: Ethics. Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy