ethical issues surrounding choices H u m a n i t i e s

ethical issues surrounding choices H u m a n i t i e s

you are now a lead developer (pulling in the big bucks) at the hottest OS company, Super OS. the sOS you are working on is used in everything from phones to refrigerators.

you are being pulled into a new company initiative: auto update. customers of sOS have not been doing timely updates of their systems. some of the customers are many versions behind. this has lead to a few problems: security bugs in old versions are being exploited; some of the older versions of sOS do not run the latest code; marketing is trying to push some partner features out to the field on a more timely basis.

because you had taken the PHIL 134 at SJSU, you have been chosen to kick off the discussion of ethical issues surrounding choices to be made. YOU ARE NOT TO DECIDE ANYTHING. your job is to highlight things that need to be considered.

you need to write a one-page memo to help start the ethical discussion. you need to:

  • identify the affected parties.
  • talk about the perspective of those parties.
  • discuss the consequences of enabling auto-updates for all devices.
  • identify one specific issue that arises from automatically deploying auto-updates and another specific issue that arises from making it optional .
  • be sure to include at least two references to support your ideas. a reference can be a blog, article, paper, anything the reinforce your idea. your team would be willing to consider your ideas more if you have something like “This Wired article points out …” than if you have something like “I asked my brother and he said …”. make sure to include a URL to the references in your memo.

also, at the bottom of your memo, please indicate whether or not you have previously taken the course: Phil. 134: Computers, Ethics, and Society.

suggested approach to writing

  1. search around for articles about OS updates, automatic updates, OS security patches, etc. bookmark a couple of articles you like.
  2. take a break! work on the next assignment. work on other classes. think about what you read and what your perspective is when you get bored.
  3. in a day or two come back, block off 45 mins to type up a few paragraphs (less than a page) with your thoughts and references.
  4. read over it to make sure it addresses what is in the rubric. make sure it makes sense.
  5. ask your mom/dad/relative/roommate (but not someone in class) if it makes sense.
  6. the next day read over it again for 15 mins and make any last minute fixes.
  7. submit it.

grading

category

points

# issues

2

references (external resource)

1

affected parties (stakeholders)

2

parties’ perspectives (intentions)

2

consequences

2

noted at the bottom if taken phil. 134: yes or no?

1

YOU WILL LOSE 2 POINTS IF YOU SAY THAT AUTOUPDATE IS GOOD OR BAD. THIS IS TO START A DISCUSSION, NOT TO DECIDE.