Case Study: Identification (Main Moral Issue), Research, Analysis (Stakeholders) profile greta89 MAINSIMILAR QUESTIONS

Murder on a Hard Drive

Computers fail for many reasons; most commonly, because of a hard drive crash. Computers may also be rendered unusable by fire, flood, mistreatment, sabotage, rust, viruses, overheating, static electric shock, and other mishaps. Even the savviest user will sometimes neglect to back up important data. When catastrophe occurs, the data stored on the hard drive, though often still there, cannot be retrieved by normal means.

Properly trained technicians often can recover data. The process can be painstaking and delicate, and only a few are qualified to recover data. Those who are qualified usually charge high prices for their service, which customers are willing to pay.

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Rose Valenty earns a comfortable living as manager of a data recovery company, Recoupabyte Confidential, Inc. The president of Recoupabyte, started the company ten years ago.  The company president now employs a team of sixty: thirty technicians for the service side, and thirty staff members for the business side. The corporate website advertises comprehensive data recovery from most mishaps, free estimates, and complete confidentiality. Their tagline is “Your reputation is safe with us.” Rose had often thought about that line, thinking that, “Your data is safe with us” might be more accurate.

Rose assigned Angel Luna, a new technician, to the case of a new customer, Mr. Bowen. In a rage, Mr. Bowen had hurled his laptop through a window of his house. After calming down, he realized that all his tax records were on the computer and he had no backup. He gathered up the pieces of the laptop and brought them to Recoupabyte. During the interview, with Angel and Rose both present, Bowen nervously inquired about the confidentiality promise. He wanted to make sure that Recoupabyte would treat all data in the strictest confidence, no matter what it might be. Rose assured him that anything on the computer, unless it involved plans for future criminal activity, would be completely safe with Recoupabyte. “We are all professionals here.” she said.

Since the hard drive had been damaged, Angel had to extract and examine one file at a time. Many files were lost or hopelessly corrupted. In examining files, Angel noticed some poor-quality photographs of what looked like a badly injured person. He continued the retrieval process and found a folder called “diary” that contained files named by month and year. He examined one of these files and found it to be a first-person account of daily activities. His curiosity getting the better of him, he found the diary file with the same date as one of the photographs. To his amazement, the diary contained a brief, perfunctory account of a murder.

Shocked by what he had seen; Angel went home early. In the middle of the night, unable to sleep, he got on the Internet and started searching for information about a local murder committed about that time. He found nothing about a murder, but a month after the date on the file, there had been an unresolved missing person report.

The following morning, Angel went in early and read the entire diary. By his own account, Mr. Bowen was an extremely volatile person, who frequently flew into uncontrollable rages. His diary recounted numerous times he had destroyed property or ruined friendships in his rage, only to come to his senses later and indulge in bouts of self-loathing and remorse. Remorse quickly passed until the next incident.

According to the diary, Bowen had struck a drinking buddy during an argument, knocking him out. The sight of him lying unconscious on the floor had only enraged Bowen all the more. He continued hitting and kicking him until his fury was spent. When Bowen came to his senses and checked for a pulse, he realized his friend was dead. The diary went on to describe how he disposed of the body, but did not give a location.

Angel called Rose into the lab, showed her the files and poured out the whole story. “So what do we do?” he asked.  Rose replied, “We recover his data and give it back to him.”  “And then what?” “Send him a bill.”

Angel turned red and spluttered in disbelief, until Rose finally explained. “Look, this company is built on confidentiality. People need to know that we will not turn them in, no matter who they are. Otherwise, if we start picking and choosing what dirt we turn over and what we sweep under the rug, we’ll lose all trust. We’re not a jury. We’re not even consultants or advisors, we’re just cleaners. It is just good business. And what if it’s not a real diary, but notes for a novel? So, finish your work and stop snooping through Bowen’s files, O.K.?”

What should Angel do?

This case was based on and adapted from a case published by the Association of Practical and Professional Ethics for use in the national intercollegiate Ethics Bowl competition, and is used with their permission.

Questions – Submit answers to the drop box:

1. Identification

· List the main moral issue in the correct format.  (See Module 2)

· Should……………….?  What should……………….?

2. Research

· List three areas that would be appropriate to research.

· If you need help and you are near campus go to the Writing Commons in the Library or Learning Support Center and ask for help with this research.  If you are not near campus go to the Begin Here Module and use Ask-A-Librarian.

3. Analysis:

· Create an analysis chart including at least 4 options and 4 stakeholders as seen in chapter 4. In the chart briefly explain how you believe each stakeholder will be affected by each option.

Helpful Hints:

All options must be in the control of the person named in your main ethical issue.

· For example, if the main ethical issue is, Should Jack report Jill for stealing computers, all of your options should begin with Jack could…….

· Creating a chart – You can copy and paste from the sample format or create the chart in MS Word by clicking on the Insert Tab – Table – choose 5X5 if you have four stakeholders and four options, so you can label your chart.