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Essay Example: Big Data-Ethical Challenges for Companies

3 pages
657 words
Sewanee University of the South
Type of paper: 
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Challenges present in the Scenario

In the above scenario, the following are some of the identifiable ethical challenges: protection of privacy and contextual integrity. The above two challenges are significantly presented in the scenario. As a data company, the firm should follow the protection of privacy principle at all times. Even though it is explained in the scenario that there is a protocol that needs to be followed whenever such incidence occurs in the organization, but the assumption that the laptop maybe misplaced was a violation of the protection of privacy principle. The protection of privacy ethical principle involves data minimization and storage limitations that could prevent any unauthorized persons from accessing the information on the laptop (Ettlin & Huber, 2017). Contextual integrity, on the other hand, is presented when the information in the laptop is divulged in different areas of life (Ettlin & Huber, 2017). In other words, this ethical challenge is presented when the information collected is not used for the intended purpose. When the laptop got lost someone may have found it and since he or she is not the owner the information collected may not be used for the intended purpose; thus, causing the contextual integrity challenge. Addressing all these challenges could be to report the laptop is lost and report the matter. The first step is to report to the flight officials before proceeding to the company management.

Relationship between Ethics and Policy

The difference between policy and ethics has been widely ignored and many people tend to use the two terms interchangeably and yet they mean totally different things. The policy consists of consistent set rules that are widely accepted and enforced (Frederickson & Rohr, 2015). Ethics, on the other hand, involves differentiating what is wrong and right, and then doing the right thing (Frederickson & Rohr, 2015). However, the relationship between the two is that they are closely applied such that an individual is required to apply both ethics and policy. The two are important in instilling acceptable behavior in the organization. The relationship between ethics and policy are mostly applicable to the organizational management to differentiate what is legal (policy) and socially acceptable behavior and conduct (ethics). Policies and ethics do not always match with one another. Policies can never be developed to satisfy an individuals needs. Ethics, on the other hand, provides a framework for ethical behavior; thus, present an individual with multiple alternatives during decision making (Frederickson & Rohr, 2015).

Individual Ethics and Organizational Policy

It is important to note that individual ethics and corporate policies need to align to enhance the performance of the organization (Warner, 2012). However, in any case, the two do not align the performance of the organization is affected significantly. If the individual ethics and organizational policy do not align, one of them will give away for another (Carroll & Buchholtz, 2014). In most cases, the organization policies are considered important; thus, the individual ethics give way to the corporate policy. As much as the management of an organization has a responsibility to ensure that every employee abides by the policies, it is also important that they motivate them with the same vigor that they use to enforce the policies. When employees do not feel safe or encounter accident incidences that are preventable, they may not be motivated to work. As a result, this may affect the performance of the organization. Therefore, both ethics and policies are intertwined concepts that need to be examined with a lot of emphases.



Carroll, A., & Buchholtz, A. (2014). Business and society: Ethics, sustainability, and stakeholder management. Nelson Education.

Ettlin, A., & Huber, B. (2017). Big Data-Ethical Challenges for Companies. SATW. Retrieved from, H. G., & Rohr, J. A. (2015). Ethics and public administration. Routledge.

Warner, J. (July 13, 2012). How can Individual and Organization Values be better Aligned? Ready to Manage. Retrieved from


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