Information Ethics, Privacy, and Security

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1. Was WestJet’s access to Air Canada’s website information ethical? Legal? Explain

The access of WestJet to Air Canada’s Web Site information is unethical and morally wrong. The practice of encroaching and accessing other organizational information is unethical based on the fact that it is affecting the fundamental rights of Air Canada. In this regard, the intellectual freedom, copyright, security and privacy are being bleached thus making the issue unethical. The access of other party’s information without their consent is unethical and equally illegal. This is in regard to the motives of the venture, whereby WestJet had ill motives in accessing the information of its opponent. In this case, WestJet was aiming at taking advantage of the information for its competitive advantage. This would have otherwise impacted on the business performance of Air Canada. The practice is very illegal in that it is a bleach of the business code of conduct as well as a bleach of the information privacy act. Based on this insights, WestJet was acting illegally and unethical in relation to its opponent.

2. To what extent do you think unauthorized access to private competitor information is commonplace in organizations?

Unauthorized access to private competitor information is commonplace in organizations in the contemporary society. This phenomenon is induced by the developments in technology, whereby sophisticated techniques are made into use. Advancement in technology have led to the development of sophisticated soft wares and IT devices that are capable of monitoring competitor information system. This scenario triggered by the increasing competition in the corporate world. Based on the advancements of globalization, world trade has been facilitated thus leading to stiff competition among the business organization. In this regard, business organizations are desperate for market leadership and profit maximization, hence inducing them to engage in unhealthy competition practices. This situation is explicitly demonstrated by WestJet, where in this case it is desperate for attaining a competitive advantage over its opponent Air Canada. Based on the case, it is evident that the number of information access by competitors is overwhelming, where in this case Air Canada’s website was hit by more than 1,000 times a day.

3. Does Air Canada have any responsibility in west jet’s ability to access air Canada’s private information?

Despite that Air Canada is the victim of the information access crime; it bears some responsibility in the crime. Based on the case, Air Canada Corporate Security was reluctant in monitoring its reservation system. In this case, it was a whistle-blower from WestJet who reported the situation. This depicts that Air Canada was reluctant in monitoring the operations in its information systems. The number of access by the end of 2004 was overwhelming, thus demonstrating the ignorance of the security team over the operations in the organization. From another perspective, some of the key players facilitating the information access were Air Canada employees. These are part of Air Canada, thus justifying the responsibility of the organization for its problems. The company had failed to establish appropriate corporate behaviors and culture that would ensure that all employees were reading from the same script. In this case, Jerffrey Laford and mark Hill would not have assisted West Jet to access Air Canada information. Additionally, Air Canada had failed to install efficient security devices that would have obstructed any access to the organization’s information. Based on these insights, Air Canada bears some responsibility over the information access scandal.

4. What people measures could air Canada implement to prevent future unauthorized access to private information?

In order to avoid information access crimes, Air Canada is liable of implementing varied measures in the organization. To begin with, establishment of admirable corporate values among its employees is a vital strategy to intervene the situation. In this case, the organization should undertake an intensive training and empowerment of its human resources regarding the need of corporate ethics. By so doing, all employees will be enlightened about the need of engaging in ethical practices that are of benefit to the organization, community around as well as themselves. With this in mind, the employees will not be able to collaborate with outsiders to ruin the organization’s interest. Another key strategy that should be undertaken by Air Canada is ensuring the security personnel in the IT department are fully equipped with the necessary skills. This will facilitate their duties in monitoring operations in the information systems.

5. What technology measures could air Canada implement to prevent future unauthorized access to private information?

On the other hand, installation of sophisticated IT devices for monitoring operations in the Organizations IT systems is also appropriate. Some of the technological measures for inhibiting access to information include authentication, encryption, security management as well as access control. In the case of encryption, Air Canada will be able to transform its information by the use of algorithm. By so doing, all its information in the reservation will be unreadable to outsiders. This method ensures optimum secrecy in the information systems, whereby non authorized parties will not have access. Authentication is also an appropriate technological technique that will ensure all information held by the organization remains safe. In this regard, people intending to use information must identify themselves through the use of login information. By so doing, cases of illegal access to information will be adequately countered.

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