1 BUS 206 Project Two Business Law I: Law and Ethics Antonio Bell Southern New Hampshire University BUS 206 Paquette, Paul Andrew July 19, 2023
2 Project Two Report When we talk about ethics, we're referring to moral principles that apply to specific groups or conduct. In contrast to laws, which come with consequences if broken, ethics are guidelines meant to help us function in society. While not all unethical behaviors are illegal, some do cross legal boundaries. Different groups or individuals may have their own ethical guidelines, influenced by their personal morals. Corporate social responsibility is the idea that businesses should consider social and environmental issues in their day-to-day operations, in order to build a positive relationship with the public. This concept ties in with ethical business practices since companies can adopt rules and regulations that benefit society and the environment. For instance, businesses might implement fair employee practices or donate to charitable causes to improve the environment. This case study involves a privacy breach that occurred with our customers. The ethical dilemma we face is whether or not to inform our customers about the breach. Our IT lead, Steve, has taken care of the issue and fixed it quickly. However, we must consider that failing to notify our customers could result in serious legal consequences. Personal information could be used in a harmful manner, which could lead to damages that we would be held responsible for if we were found to be negligent in reporting the breach. Despite Steve's assurance that only a few customers' phone numbers and addresses were accessed, we believe that it is imperative to inform our customers of the breach. This way, they can take necessary steps to protect their information. It is the right thing to do, and we must act accordingly. The owner, Clare Applewood, the company's workers, customers, and local authorities are all key stakeholders in this scenario. The company's adoption of e-commerce in response to its rapid growth has been accompanied by a statement on its website about protecting customer information. Carlos Rodriguez oversees both the physical store and e-commerce, and he and Clare are responsible for most of the decisions. However, the company's chief I.T., Steve, discovered a security breach in their database that resulted in the hacking of customer information. The information that was breached only included customer names, addresses, and
3 phone numbers from online orders in the first quarter of that year. Steve fixed the security threat and ensured the database's safety without informing anyone, despite the fact that he believed it was optional since only a few customers were affected. However, when Carlos found out about the breach, he questioned Steve's decision not to inform anyone, and Steve replied that he could fix the issue quickly and did not need to bring it up. It is imperative that all stakeholders are informed of any security breaches, regardless of the number of customers affected, to ensure the company's commitment to protecting customer information. Failure to report a breach of information will result in severe consequences for the company, including legal action from local authorities. In addition, concealing the breach could damage the company's relationship with the public. Such conduct would be considered unethical, as the company has pledged to protect customer information. If customers experience any harm from the breach, they have the right to sue the company for compensation. It is imperative that the company takes prompt action to report any information breach. To effectively address the issue at hand, the company must publicly disclose the details of the breach and the steps taken to resolve it. It is imperative that they work closely with local law enforcement agencies to apprehend the perpetrator and minimize the impact on consumers. Early involvement of the authorities can significantly enhance their effectiveness. The company must also have a clear communication plan that caters to all key audiences. Transparency is key, and the disclosure of all pertinent details will go a long way in improving consumer protection. However, the company must exercise caution and avoid sharing any information that could further compromise consumer safety. In addition to a public statement, it is highly recommended that the company mentions any new preventive measures implemented to address vulnerabilities and ensure that such an incident won't occur again. This will empower customers to take the necessary precautions to safeguard their information. Companies must display integrity, follow ethical practices, obey the law, and take responsibility for their actions to establish trust with the public. This is especially crucial as all states in the U.S. mandate companies to reveal data breaches. Fortunately, the Federal Trade Commission provides guidance on how to handle such situations. It is imperative that companies
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