Explore BrainMass

Laws not keeping pace with technological developments

This content was COPIED from BrainMass.com - View the original, and get the already-completed solution here!

Justin Ellsworth was a Marine who gave his life for his country. By all accounts he was a brave and fine Marine and we all owe him the highest debt of gratitude. But we were also left with a serious question, what to do with his email? His parents wanted access. They wanted to see what their son had to say. However, email is a private sort of thing. Yahoo, his email provider, had a terms of service agreement with him. And while we sympathize greatly with his parents, there is also a precedent to be concerned about. One can't simply waive away the privacy issue as a decision to release the information could have serious consequences for email privacy for us all. So the issue needs to be discussed, thought through, and resolved. That is why we have cases like this in a class like this, so we can think these things through and try to respect the family, the deceased, and the needs of society

Please answer this question. Be sure to assess, separately with thorough explanations, the utilitarian and deontological considerations.

© BrainMass Inc. brainmass.com March 21, 2019, 10:21 pm ad1c9bdddf

Solution Preview

Running Head: Email Privacy Dilemma

Email Privacy Dilemma
Course Code:

If the law does not keep pace with technological developments, and it always seems to be at least one step behind, the consequences can be devastating, even in the seemingly simplest of things. What could be more technologically routine these days than email? And yet the ethical concerns on the confidentiality of emails are continually growing. From corporate companies to family members, the issue of email monitoring and confidentiality has posed a dilemma that has yet to be fully resolved. This paper assesses and analyzes an email privacy ethical dilemma under utilitarian and deontological considerations.
Analysis of the case scenario
After Justin Ellsworth death his grief stricken parents wanted to have access to his emails so as to see what their son had to say. Justin though had privacy terms with his email provider yahoo and his email content could not be released to anyone. While the parents situation is understandable, an ethical question arises as to whether yahoo should release Justin's information to his parents to help them in overcoming their grief or should they keep the information confidential even though Justin is dead and terms of service agreement are unbinding. The main ethical issues raised in this case are confidentiality, integrity, empathy, veracity and sympathy.
This issues and principles should be able to guide the concerned parties in understanding what would be the most favorable outcome and consequence that would minimize any strain or conflicts from escalating. The ethical issues in this matter can be assessed and addressed using ethical theories such as utilitarianism and ...

Solution Summary

The laws not keeping pace with technological developments are examined.