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Business Ethics

Name of the Student

Name of the University

Author’s Note



Table of Contents



Critical Discussion









This particular paper is critically developed because of the significant refusal of Apple

Inc. to the requests of police and military authorities of for unlocking the mobile phone of a

suspected terrorist. This particular scenario involving the Apple and the federal agency of United

States of America gives rise to the emergence of multiple ethical constraints within the modern

day global environment. The particular action behind such a refusal made by Apple should need

to be discussed to develop a proper understanding of the chosen context (Baggini, 2012). The

scenario began with the individual practice of Apple back in 2014 when the company decided to

introduce a unique and enhanced encryption protocol for different apps in its iPhone models.

With the launch of the new encryption module in September 2014 and integrated into the

particular operating system of its iPhone devices, it becomes almost impossible for the company

to break into the information shared by its users upon the request of different investigators. The

particular consequence of the identified situation is profoundly distinct from the past example,

where investigators from various authoritative agencies can have the access to the devices

designed and manufactured by the company if a proper search warrant is provided to the

headquarter of Apple (Boatright, 2013). It is further observed that this sudden shift in a decision

made by the corporation is based on addressing the increasing amount of responses related to the

different concerns over the digital privacy and lack of trusts among the population about the

various activities of the digital spies of America. The particular trend among the people emerged

following the incident related to the significant disclosures from Edward Snowden, a former

contractor for the National Security Agency (Bowie, 2013).



Hence, it is necessary to examine and evaluate the indeed identified case for critically

applying the theoretical application in accordance with the particular situation in the global


Critical Discussion

Based on the information obtained from analysing an article as part of Blogmaverick,

produced in February 2016, it can be determined that FBI instructed Apple to develop a

particular version of iOS, which would allow the FBI to install the same version on the phone

used by the terrorist. The primary intension of such instruction was to make use of the brute

force method for pushing through all the password combinations associated with the phone until

the iPhone gets unlocked (Bredeson, 2012). The principle objective behind such an instruction

given the by the FBI is to search and examine any information that would assist them to

investigate the horrific act of terrorism. Therefore, it can be observed that the increasing

importance is provided to this particular ethical dilemma due to the alarming impact of raising

terrorism affecting the global economy and national treasures of the leading countries. In this

case, the refusal made by Apple is because the expected intension of FBI has no certainty of

achieving a successful accomplishment if Apple complies with such an order (Collins, 2012).

For an example, if the terrorist in possession with the particular phone uses a variety of numbers,

letters, and symbols to (or “intending to”) constructing the password, it would take years to crack

such pin for the official agencies to unlock the phone. Furthermore, there is no guarantee that the

individual did not use a third party application, which does not have any additional encryption in

case the agency is successful in terms of accessing the phone. Not necessarily, the third party

apps or systems, the FBI can encounter with different apps designed by Apple (Crane & Matten,



2012). These particular facts have led Apple to make such a decision to counter the request made

by the FBI.

By conducting an in-depth analysis, the result of the specific approach made by the

company back in 2014 leads all the data in the Apple’s devices to become encrypted by default.

Due to the encryption, the users will require a passcode to access the data stored on the

instrument once it is locked, and the ten repeatedly failed attempt will automatically erase the

particular information. Influenced by the Edward Snowden revelations, the appropriate decision

to encrypt Apple makes the data for forming a proper response (Firth, 2012). The absolute

strength of the encryption applied by Apple suggests that even the staffs of the company cannot

have the access to the private data shared by its users as well. In this case, the theory related to

the ethical dilemma can be observed critically. According to the statement made by Dave Lee of

BBC, "Apple decided to enable encryption by default to avoid precisely this kind of ethical

dilemma." Therefore, different ethical theories applying to the identified context should need to

be elaborated with maintaining the proper discussion.


Based on this particular theory, it rests on the development of actions depends on

bringing ordinary consequences to the overall society by judging the majority of the context. It is

expected that the substantial outcome of the activities followed by the company should need to

bring positive implications to the overall community (Halbert & Ingulli, 2012). The morality of

the context is based on the specified portion of good and evil with the accordance to the

perception of people regarding what is wrong, and what is right. Based on the definition of the

society, the particular factors associated with the good or evil is developed. This particular fact

leads to the ethical egoism stating that the actions engaged by a business should need to be



formulated in a fashion to serve the best interest of the company in the long-running basis.

Therefore, it can be critically analysed and determined that the consequentialism factor is

adequately considered during the time of taking such a major decision in 2014 (





2013). It is observed that the particular decision made by the company

serves the fundamental interest of the business for the long-term aspect. In the case of the

personal egoism, the actions are defined according to the long run benefit of the individual or the

business, where there is no mention about the reactions or responses of the other parties.

Therefore, this particular theoretical application can also be found in the inevitable decision to

form the encryption after the revelations of Edward Snowden. Apple Inc. does not consider it

about the individual drawbacks would be faced by the investigative agencies of the sound level

caused by the particular decision.

Values Clarification

The theory related to the values clarification or the philosophical relativism refers to the

most valuable aspect is not developed by the belief of a certain individual, but it should need to

be produced by evolving an awareness related to the feelings, values, and beliefs of the others

(Jeffrey, 2013). Therefore, the particular definition of the theory suggests the consideration of the













acknowledgement, it can be determined that the individuals or the businesses gain their values by

independently making their choices. On the other hand, it is also a major fact that the particular

decisions affect the thinking of others. The certain scenario regarding the decision of Apple

provided major influences to the police and military authorities of the country.

Based on the specific discussion, it is ascertained that the businesses should need to be

driven by their values, as these entities are always want to create values out of their products or



services (Michalos, 2013). The organizations, in this case, should need to attempt to develop a

proper clarification of the values by highly emphasising on their feelings related to the

contemporary society as part of the business environment. The value clarification varies from

one organization to another organization, which is dependent on the distinction of truths and

beliefs. Therefore, the methodologies applied by multiple organization are also distinct from

each other. The particular understanding leads Apple to take one of its vital decisions regarding

the security modification in its iPhone products (Murdock & Foster, 2012). The particular

decision is based on providing values to the opinions of its users based on the appropriateness of

actions safeguarding their personal data stored and shared with the device. Based on this

particular analysis, it is reflected that Apple provides high value to its customers rather than the

authoritative requests in order to promote the enhancement of its customer base and become the

leader in its respective industry.


Based on the application of the utilitarianism concept, it emphasises on the development

of a moral standard for the promotion of the best interest of the majority of the society in a long-

running basis. In this situation, the factors concerned by everyone is described to provide the

priority (Poruthiyil, 2013). Different experts are agreeing on the concepts of utilitarianism,

simply defined as the utilitarianists, and provided importance to the intrinsic factors more

precisely. These intrinsic factors are majorly observed to be happiness and pleasure. On the other

hand, some other opinions suggest that power, beauty, or knowledge also serve mainly to the

development of the intrinsic factors. The utilitarian action developed by an individual or business

suggests the development of the action to the greatest ratio of good to the evil scenarios

concerned with the particular environment of the firm. On the other hand, there is the



involvement of the rule utilitarianism, which suggests that there is a specific utilitarian value in

certain actions developed by the firm (Pride, Hughes, & Kapoor, 2012). Based on this particular

fact, the general rules are adopted and implemented within the context of driving the business to

the specific direction. In the case of Apple Inc., the refusal to grant the request of the FBI

suggests the utilitarian approach, as the firm takes the particular decision with the aim of

providing greater utility to its users based on the maintenance of privacy and safety from the

outside interference. This is the vital fact, which leads the significant approach of the company to

be criticised by the administrative bodies of the global environment.

Ethical Approaches of Apple and FBI

The global technologic industry has experienced a major uproar over the incident related

to the revelation of a series of court orders instructing Apple Inc. to come into the settlement

with the FBI to assist their process of investigation. The FBI seeks the help of Apple in order to

crack into the iPhone of the deceased San Bernardino shooters named Tashfeen Malik and Syed

Rizwan Farook (Rothlin & Haghirian, 2013). In a public letter towards its customers, the CEO,

Tim Cook, on behalf of Apple Inc. denied any associated with the government for providing

them the access to their encrypted system. On the other side, the FBI countered their particular

request by stating that the petition is highly reasonable in terms of bringing justice to the victim

due to the special act of terrorism. Therefore, the major question pertaining the core ethical

dilemma arising out of the scenario is based on whether a company is liable to develop a

mechanism for the law and enforcement authorities to provide them the needful assistance

related to its design. Here, the assistance suggests any kind of compromise with the law and

enforcement authority by the company related to the different security issues.



By analysing the overall situation, it can be determined that such an incident gives rise to

the significant amount of ethical dilemmas for the firms operating in the technology industry in

the global as well as the national or regional environment (Shaw & Barry, 2013). The customers

and several important business relationships are highly affected due to the short-term impact of

the scenario. On the other hand, the similar situation provokes the similar kind of demand from

the government of other countries as well. The particular scene also depicts a long-term ethical

dilemma by considering the efforts of the FBI. In this case, the efforts made by the FBI

ultimately and ironically undermined the broader aims of the agency by insisting the company

build their devices with maintaining the infiltrative design for accessing the critical data and


Based on the overall investigation to this particular context, the precise incident between

Apple and FBI is just the latest instance amongst the years-long battle between the privacy and

security minded groups and the legal enforcement community (Tong, 2012). In the rise of

technology in the modern day environment, the process of communication become increasingly

and continuously digitalised leading the specified authorities to direct the industries for providing

their assistance. The principal objective of such assistance is based on ensuring the establishment

of the government backdoor for breaking the security technology. From the context of the

technology industry, different companies and privacy activists vigorously opposed to kind of

proposed government backdoor for safety and encryption technologies adopted in the related

product designs. The involvement of different civil liability groups can be critically observed in

this certain scenario. “America Civil Liabilities Union (ACLU)” and “Electronic Frontier

Foundation (EFF)” safeguarded the particular right related to the privacy concern by stating the

aspect as an incontrovertible (Zsolnai, 2013). Based on the analysis made by the computer



scientist from the contemporary environment, it is pointed out that compromising with the law

and enforcement authority or accepting the particular scheme by the government would cause the

devastating security susceptibility for the wide range of users. This particular backdoor is also

known as the golden keys, as the particular scheme will provide different facilities to the hackers

around the world alongside the foreign governments to exploit the particular the particular

information shared by the users. Therefore, the proper ethical response can be developed by

judging the overall scenario (Pride, Hughes, & Kapoor, 2012). It should need to make sure that

there is no transaction between the security and privacy concerns of the vast amount of users, as

the process will weaken the security interest of every single individual by weakening the



Based on the statement included in the letter produced by the CEO of Apple Inc., Mr Tim

Cook, the company has provided whatever the legal resources and directions to the legal

enforcement committee in the previous context as well as the current investigation. However,

Cook refused when the FB

asked the company’s engineers to design them a tool which will

allow their agents to bypass the security system included in the iPhone devices. By looking at the

scenario, it can be determined by considering the statement of Cook that Apple also wants to

bring justice for the victims of the horrendous act of terrorism just like the legislative authority






2013). However, complying with such a request of the

institutional agencies would subsequently lead the scenario to violate the trust of its consumers

fundamentally. Therefore, it would cost any tech giant to experience the major ethical dilemma

by publicly compromising the particular integrity of the devices. It is unlikely that such a request



would be a one-time deal with the legislative authorities of the country despite the assurance

provided by the FBI Director James Comey. However, considering the significant concerns over

the generated precedents and vulnerabilities due to the individual action, the particular ethical

approach adopted by Apple Inc. can be stated rightful and appropriate.




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