Ethics Paper on Facebook Beacon

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Ethics Paper on Facebook Beacon

By | November 2012
Page 1 of 6
Abstract
Facebook began in February 2004. It was founded by Mark Zuckerberg and his collegiate comrades at Harvard University. Rapidly expanding, Facebook’s exponential growth led to its membership growing to over one billion users, as of September 2012. One would imagine that with such growth would come more opportunities for challenges to arise: one of these challenges being users and their rights to privacy. As part of Facebook’s advertising system, their primary means of generating revenue, Beacon sent data from other companies and websites to Facebook. Following a lawsuit, Beacon then changed to accommodate these requests. On December 5, 2007, Facebook declared it would allow users to choose not to participate in Beacon in which the owner of Facebook apologized for the dispute. When approaching a solution to this ethical dilemma, Facebook had a couple alternative decisions they could make. They could leave the Beacon system as it was, they could change the Beacon feature to accommodate requests, or they could delete the feature all together. Using the various ethical approaches to determine which option was best in determining how to solve their issues; one option would prove most logical. Under the utilitarian approach, choosing to keep the Beacon feature would not be the best decision to make. Changing the Beacon feature to allow users to choose to participate or opt out of using the feature. In the end, with this option, more would be satisfied, making it the best choice under this ethical approach. Facebook’s overall reasons for changing the feature spanned farther than just making users happy, it dealt with compliance with the law, so I feel that the positive outcomes from the change will outweigh any potential negative outcomes in the future.

Ethical Dilemma
Facebook began in February 2004. It was founded by Mark Zuckerberg and his collegiate comrades at Harvard University. Initially, the site was aimed at other Harvard students but...
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