Ethical Decisions

1. Organizer

 1.   Question: What is the ethical question? State the situation at hand in your own words.

To guide your response, consider the following questions:

  • What are the ethical elements of the situation?
  • Does the situation involve some basic human goods that are being denied or threatened?
  • Could this decision or situation cause damage or harm to an individual or group?
  • Does the situation involve some considerations of justice or rights?
The ethical question arising from the issue at hand is whether Facebook is justified to allow a breach of users’ privacy for commercial purposes. Breach of privacy affects users’ trust in the network. The situation at hand involves considerations of rights, the rights of users to privacy. Incursion in Facebook account holders’ privacy without their consent is a violation of their right to privacy and security (Conger, Dance, & Isaac, 2019).

1.       Facts (Known and Unknown): What do you know about the topic? What are the relevant facts?

  I know that data mining, illegal and legal, are a common problem with the use of social media networks such as Facebook. Data mining is a lucrative area, which encourages incursions into user privacy to gather private data (Conger, Dance, & Isaac, 2019).

What additional information would be helpful to know? Can I learn more about the situation? What are some questions that you have about the topic that would be useful for making a decision?

There is much to learn from Facebook’s incursion in privacy and its potential to hurt partner organizations. It would be helpful to learn how the relationship between Facebook and data mining has evolved in recent years, focusing on the issue of breach of privacy (Carter & Levy, 2012). Questions Is there a clear line between legal and illegal data mining? Is data mining an ethical practice? Will breach of Facebook users’ privacy end without severely restricting data mining?

3. Stakeholders: Who are the major stakeholders—which individuals or groups have something to lose or gain from the outcome of the situation? In the table below, identify the concerns and values associated with each. What is important to them?

Stakeholder :Concerns/Values
Stakeholder One: Facebook usersSafety: Facebook users value the safety of the accounts and information they share, particularly private. Privacy: Facebook users value privacy, an issue that is affected by illegal gathering of information (Solove & Schwartz, 2021).
Stakeholder Two: Shareholders at Facebook.Profit-making: The shareholders of Facebook company value profit-making because they are in business (Carter & Levy, 2012). Image of the company: The reputation of the company is important to its marketability and value, hence a concern to shareholders.  
Stakeholder Three: EmployeesThe employees of Facebook value job security and their earning than anything else. Ethical issues at the company can affect their jobs security and earning if some of them can be found to be accomplices or the company suffers many losses as a result of the scandal. 
Stakeholder Four: General  communityThe community values partnership with entities that have a good reputation, hence concerned about possible unethical practices at Facebook (Solove & Schwartz, 2021).
Stakeholder Five: PartnersThe business partners of Facebook would not wish to partner with a company that has a bad reputation (Solove & Schwartz, 2021).

4.    Options: Try to think of all your options and list them in the box. Make sure to write down at least five possibilities. The goal is to produce as many creative ideas as possible. Don’t worry about complications or drawbacks just yet. In the next step, you’ll narrow down your ideas. For now, just focus on generating an array of options. Consider the following questions:

  • What different options are available?
  • Have you identified creative options?
Options Accepting the partnership Rejecting the partnership Setting conditions for partnership, which must be met before the partnership can be sealed.  Partnering with Facebook in areas of marketing and communication only.Pause the partnership until ethical issues at Facebook completely fade away.

Now, choose three of the most plausible courses of action to examine in more detail. In the table below, explain the following:

  • What are the advantages/disadvantages of each option?
  • Can the best alternative be implemented?
Option 1: Accepting partnership-it is an easier option to arrive at. Gauze & Effect stand to benefit more from Facebook than any other option because of the company’s huge financial muscle (Solove & Schwartz, 2021).-exposes Gauze & Effects to the possible backlash of partnering with an unethical entity.
Option 2: Rejecting partnership-It is an easier decision to make. -Gauze & Effects will be safe from Facebook, controversies.-Gauze & Effect will lose a potentially strong partner. -chances of Gauze & Effect partnering with Facebook in future will be jeopardized. -The rejection does not guarantee that Gauze & Effect will find a moral, upright partner.
Option 3: 3.    Setting conditions for the partnership-The conditions can improve the deal. -Gauze & Effects would improve its say in partnership.-conditions may turn off Facebook, leading to a loss of opportunity for partnership (Conger, Dance, & Isaac, 2019). -There is no guarantee that set conditions would be accepted by Facebook.

5.    Decision: In the context of the options that you examined in the previous step, how do you think Gauze and Effect should proceed with the partnership? What is your recommendation for the ethical decision at hand? Explain the reason for your decision. In your rationale, relate your reasoning to an ethical concept or theory discussed in the competency readings.

Gauze & Effect should go ahead and accept the partnership. The ethical issue at hand should be treated as less impactful on the partnership.  The rationale behind this decision is that there are far less benefits and value in rejecting the partnership with Facebook on the premise of the ethical issue at the company than benefits and value that will come with sealing the partnership (Solove & Schwartz, 2021). I approached the issue from a utilitarian angle.  

2. Email Recommendation to Dr. Lee (300-500 words

Dear Dr. Lee

Facebook’s ethical dilemma includes allowing the illegal gathering of private information from users and using it for commercial purposes. The relationship between Facebook and Cambridge Analytica was business-oriented, for the latter used the Facebook platform to carry out advertising and marketing its political messages (Solove & Schwartz, 2021). Facebook makes money from marketing and data mining, two aspects that are interlinked because data mining drives online marketing. The use of algorithms to determine which user or users should see particular ads borders to breach the users’ privacy for commercial purposes (Carter & Levy, 2012). However, this practice is found across tech firms, which have sought to capitalize on the growing demand for bulk data mining and online marketing to make profits.

How I approached the issue

My approach to the problem of breach of privacy at Facebook and the possible partnership with Gauzea & Effect was based on available laws and prevailing realities in the tech industry. Illegal mining of private data is an offense. Social media company battlers all forms of privacy breaches, including hackers (Solove & Schwartz, 2021). Cambridge Analytica relied on an app created by a third party to gather private information from Facebook users without their knowledge (Grama, 2020). In essence, Facebook was held accountable for the breach because it was its duty to protect users from exploitation by third parties that they interact with courtesy of Facebook business transactions.


Gauze and Effect should pursue the partnership with Facebook on the basis that the privacy breach was committed by a third-party without the knowledge of Facebook.


 The partnership between Gauze & Effect with Facebook brings more benefits and happiness to the greatest number of people than possible demerits of the partnership on the grounds of previous ethical issues at the giant social media firm. A utilitarian approach offered the best guideline in arriving at a decision made (Mulgan, 2014). Gauze & Effect focus should be the pros and cons of each decision the organization make, with a special focus on avoiding options that have many negative effects than positive.

The other options to accepting the partnership with Facebook would be rejecting the partnership with Facebook and looking for an alternative partner. The advantage of this decision would be avoiding possible backlash that would arise due to Facebook’s unethical practices (Grama, 2020). However, the options would mean that Gauze and Effect expose themselves to the risk of missing out on a strong partner and suffering the inability to support its activities. Also, looking for a new partner would take a long time and does not guarantee that the partner would be clean; issues of unethical practices can emerge at any given time.

The decision partly aligns with my values and ethics. My ethical persuasions are anchored on utilitarianism, which looks at the greatest happiness attainable in a given situation. However, I also looked at the general values and ethical standards that govern society. Despite issues of privacy breaches that the company faces, Facebook holds a high potential to be the best partner to Gauze and Effect. As a non-profit organization, the entity needs funds and other supports that Facebook can offer in the long run to benefit the community (Carter & Levy, 2012). The benefits of this partnership are far much important than unethical practices on Facebook.

Most importantly, the major privacy breach that has ever hit Facebook was perpetrated by a third party for profit-making without the knowledge of Facebook. Facebook knew that professor Kogan would use information mined vie “thisisyourdigitallife” for educational purposes, which is an ethical right to benefit society (Solove & Schwartz, 2021). In essence, there is no strong ethical reason to reject a partnership with Facebook and forego the benefits that would come with the partnership with Gauze and Effect to the community.

3. Targeted Message with Explanation (300-500 words)

Facebook has approached Gauze & Effect for the partnership that will see it get financial and other supports in providing emergency medical care to people in crisis. In respect to the request for partnership, Gauze & Effect carried has decided to accept the request and form partnership with Facebook. However, this decision was arrived at after carrying out an assessment of Facebook’s track record to determine if the company has previously engaged in gross unethical conduct that may taint the non-profit organization’s image.

Gauze and Effect Reasons for Accepting Partnership with Facebook

The partnership between the non-profit organization and Facebook has many advantages than disadvantages to Gauze & Effect and community. In this respect, merits and demerits of the partnership were weighed to determine whether to accept the partnership offer or reject it. Facebook is a tech giant that offers an avalanche of opportunities to the community, from solving communication issues to marketing (Grama, 2020). The message to the community would include the following aspects:

  1. The importance of partnering with Facebook

In this section, the non-profit organization will explain to the community the opportunities that come with Facebook. These include:

  • The community should focus on the greatest benefits of the decision made.
  • The social media company will offer the organization an improved opportunity to market its services via the Facebook website.
  • Facebook is a popular company across the world, the world’s largest social media firm, which offers.
  • Facebook is a stable company that is always growing, making it ideal for a long term partnership with Facebook.
  • Facebook privacy breaches were committed by a third party without the approval of the company.

Ethical theory used to make the decision

I employed ethical theory to help me determine whether to recommend a partnership with Facebook or reject. The utilitarian theory of ethics would be used to make the decision on partnering with Facebook. The theory emphasizes the need to pursue the greatest good attainable in any decision-making process (Mulgan, 2014). The decision to partner with Facebook has more benefits than the decision to reject such a partnership because the tech company has a history of privacy breaches (Solove & Schwartz, 2021). Accepting the partnership will not hurt the local community, and neither will it promote a breach of privacy.

Facebook also took responsibility for the breach of privacy that was committed by third parties on its platform. The company has also taken measures to prevent and punish privacy breach cases, including terminating business with Cambridge Analytica (Grama, 2020). The action by Facebook demonstrates the willingness of the company to protect the privacy of users.


Carter, B., & Levy, J. R. (2012). Facebook Marketing: Leveraging Facebook’s features for your marketing campaigns. Indianapolis: Que.

Conger, K., Dance, G.J.X., & Isaac, M. (2019). Facebook’s Suspension of ‘Tens of Thousands’ of Apps Reveals Wider Privacy Issues. New York Times.

Grama, J.N.N. (2020). Legal Issues In Information Security. Jones & Bartlett Learning.

Kant, T. (2020). Making it personal: Algorithmic personalization, identity, and everyday life. Oxford University Press.

Mulgan, T. (2014). Understanding Utilitarianism. Routledge.

Solove, D.J., & Schwartz, P.M. (2021). Consumer privacy and data protection. Wolters Kluwer.

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