Justin Ellsworth Email Case

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In my opinion I think that the parents should have been given access to his email. The

reason I feel this way is because there are things that us as humans do that we keep private.

The parents have the right to know what their son was doing in his private life so that they

could better understand their son and find out things that maybe he did not feel they needed

to know about his life. They way that Yahoo handled the situation was correct in that, they

followed exactly what they say in their privacy statement when creating an account. They

cannot just give out information it must be requested via legal means. For future cases of

this nature I think that there should be something that grants access to personal email to family

members so that there will be no more grief than the families are already going through having

to deal with lawyers and courts. I am certain Justin’s parents meant well when they challenged

Yahoo’s! privacy agreement and obtained a court order to disclose Justin’s emails after his

unfortunate death defending the freedoms we enjoy. However, in the quest of his parents to

obtain Justin’s last thoughts, could they have unveiled a personal life that would of changed their

opinion of him? This and other utilitarian and deontological moral ethics should be considered

when confronted with the decision to invade someone’s privacy. In the utilitarian concept of

ethics, an action is good if it creates more happiness than unhappiness for the greater good. If

Yahoo! had given Ellsworth’s parents Justin’s account password, that action would have been

good only for them and created a happy atmosphere for them only. This action is contrary to the

utilitarian theory since it didn’t create happiness for the greater public. In addition, did his parents

consider the consequences of reading Justin’s private emails? In the quest of understanding

Justin’s last thoughts, they might have...
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