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Snapchat, ethical issues and solutions

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by

AbiFadel Marc

on 25 July 2013

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Transcript of Snapchat, ethical issues and solutions

Snapchat
Ethical issues of Snapchat
Made it easier for teenagers to sext
Made it easier for cyber stalkers to send pictures of people without their consent
Made it easier for cyber bullies to send embarrassing pictures of others
Privacy breach: pics are stored on the receivers' phones and on the app servers. Receiver can screenshot the snap.
Who are the stakeholders?
Users
App developers (Daniel Smith, David Kravitz, Bobby Murphy, Evan Spiegel, Mia Farr)
Teenager's guardians
Any person being recorded or taken in picture
The government
What are the relevant facts?
Pics are stored on the receiver's phones in a hidden format
Pics are stored on the app servers
FBI case: officers used government's phones and sent inappropriate pics
New Jersey and Iowa cases: pics of female teenagers were posted on Instagram after being sent to some people on Snapchat
Yes, people should download the app without any changes or restrictions from the government
No, people should not download the app without any changes or restrictions from the government
Yes, they should download the app but the people and the government should ask the app developers to redesign Snapchat:
Delete the pictures instead of hiding them and not store them on the app servers
Disable the screenshot option in Snapchat
For teenagers, redesign the app such that parental control can be implemented
Yes, they should download the app but send appropriate and non-disturbing photos
Yes, they should download the app but guardians should be more careful about what their kids send (stay close to their kids and check what they send)
Android and iPhone app which is becoming increasingly popular
Enables users to send snaps or videos to selected recipients for some seconds after which these snaps get deleted
The users are between 13 and 25 years old.
But there are ethical issues involved with Snapchat
What is Snapchat?
What is the problem?
Should people download Snapchat?
And should the government let people download Snapchat?
What are the solutions to the problem?
Frameworks
Evaluation of the solutions
Virtue ethics
Unacceptable since app developers are being dishonest (hiding the truth from the users.
Terminate the years of dishonesty of Snapchat
Increase the creativity of the app developers and encourage a cooperative bond between the government and the people.
People should act respectfully and decently, conserving privacy of others and themselves.
Guardians should have an eye for details and protect their kids.
Unacceptable since some people are using the app to abuse others
Affecting people who use the app for fun and also the app developers and the employees
Care about privacy of users and employes' jobs
Be self-conscious about the nature of the pictures users send
Care about their kids and the people their kids might bully or stalk
Utilitarian
Duty ethics
Duty of the government to ensure the privacy of the people is ensured.
Reduce the risk of privacy breaches, cyber bullying, cyber stalking and sexting.
Duty of the government and duty of the app developers to ensure privacy of the users.
Duty of users not to breach the privacy of others (reciprocity)
Duty of the guardians to protect the kids from sexting, cyber bullying, cyber stalking and privacy breaches.
Codes of ethics
Affect the safety, welfare and health of the users. Negative effect on the mental health of the people.
Deprive them from a service thus affecting the welfare
Engineers will work in their field of competence to attain a morally good goal (preventing sexting, cyber bullying, stalking, privacy breaches)
Not relevant
Not relevant
Care ethics
Acceptable since happiness of the app developers and the people using the app decently is higher than the negative impact on the people affected.
Happiness of app developer will decrease drastically as well as the happiness of the people using it for fun.
Increase in the overall happiness. Teenager might get annoyed by the parental control tool.
Hard to implement. Some people do not conform to morals.
Also hard to implement and time demanding for the guardians.
Decision
The best solution for this problem would be to make Snapchat's developers redesign their app and let them be totally honest with their users.
By deleting and not storing the sanps anywhere, Snapchat will ensure the privacy of the users
By disabling the screenshot option while viewing a snap, Snapchat will prevent embarrassing snaps to be seen by everyone.
A parental control tool would prevent child pornography and display of sexually appealing pictures to teenagers.
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