The debate on the liability of a product from an ethical position is a very controversial issue. Damages related to products are often a dilemma on who should take the responsibility. In the case of Mr. Shabeev, he did not perpetrate the attacks. However, he wrote the code that eventually led to the creation of the said virus. The virus, targeted towards Target Corp customers, caused irreparable damage not just to the company’s financial aspect but also its reputation as a trendsetter. While Mr. Shabeev could claim to have no dealings ion the actual attacks, he is solely responsible for the whole saga that led to losses, anxiety and fear among public members. He should not have released a product whose content could he knew so well could harm the public in a way. However young he is, Mr. Shabeev should have known that the common good of the people outweighs his innovative talent. For Mr.Shabeev, he could have considered his options’ before releasing the harmful product into the market (The McGraw-Hill Higher Education, 151).
A perfect example could be an action taken by J & J Company in 1982 after a drug they had developed (Tylenol capsules) were blamed for the death of seven people in Chicago. Even after then FBI advised them not to withdraw the capsules from the market, the company went on to withdraw. The financial losses were adverse, but the common good of the people prevailed. This was the most ethical the company could have acted. The company lost a lump sum amount of revenue totaling to $150 million from the reaction following the unfortunate incident. The company acted in the most professional, humane and ethical manner. Ethics defines the future reputation of an individual or a company especially in a situation where there is a need to make a decision between the safety concern of the larger society against the individualistic interests (The McGraw-Hill Higher Education, 149).
The effects that befall a company once its systems have been compromised on security matters especially those that directly affect the customer are enormous in nature. The company is expected to be solely responsible for its customer’s anonymity where necessary. The customer holds the company responsible for any breaches ion this agreement of anonymity. When this is compromised, such as in the case of Target Corp, then all customers may lose confidence with the company in terms of keeping their data safe. The customers are exposed to the harsh reality of the technology world where they are left unsecure, and they are forced to change their personal information as they do not know what is known or unknown to the attacker. Similarly, they cannot predict next move the attacker might decide to take. The company is left exposed in another crisis. In the first crisis, the company is tasked with investigating whatever went wrong with its systems and the main culprits. On the other hand, there is a need to assure the customers that they are protected (LRN, 9).
The customers expect the company not only to sort out the issue with them, but at times subjecting the company to legal technicalities that have a further impact on its public image. As the company tries to juggle between investigations and assuring the customers, there is a group of customers who will seek alternative services from competitor companies as the period within which the affected company severely affects their operations (The McGraw-Hill Higher Education, 154). This struggle to maintain the customer base, sort out the security lapses within the company and protect the public image in a single instant compromises the ability to deliver effectively. This renders the company less efficient, and the public could describe its downfall could as a case of social irresponsibility (LRN, 3).
LRN. "Ethics and compliance risk management." Ethics Resource Center | Ethics Resource Center. LRN, 2007. 11 Feb. 2014.
The McGraw-Hill Higher Education. "Business Ethics and the Legal Environment of Business."The McGraw-Hill Higher Education. McGraw Hill Education, 2013, Print.