Essay on Patricia Dunn, Hp, and the Pretext Scandal

1998 Words Oct 30th, 2008 8 Pages
The purpose of this paper is to examine both the utilitarian and deontological considerations behind Patricia Dunn’s decision to have private investigators check the telephone records of the board members of Hewlett-Packard, and the method they used to acquire the information. In addition, these same ethical considerations will be applied to the private investigators who acquired the telephone records, the website that published the information, and the person who leaked information. The author will then offer his opinion as to whether or not Patricia Dunn should have been dismissed for her actions.

Patricia Dunn, HP, and the Pretext Scandal
Hewlett-Packard is without a doubt a successful company. With
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Ms. Dunn had a responsibility to those people. Whoever leaked the information to CNET was putting all those people’s rights in jeopardy by potentially giving competitors an advantage. Ms. Dunn had a duty to protect the company, and as long as she did things legally, she was meeting the tenets of deontological ethics. As for the utilitarian ethics model, she did the right thing by trying to find (and presumably eliminate) the barrier to the long term happiness of those involved in the company. In that regard, she also met the concepts of the utilitarian ethics model. The next part of the discussion will focus on the investigators who retrieved the telephone records of the board members. They were hired by the Hewlett-Packard general council office, through third party security experts. It’s important to note that the investigators were not listening in on the private calls that were being made. They simply acquired the call records of the board members home telephone numbers so that they could be audited to determine if any calls were made to known news outlets. According to a Newsweek magazine article written by David A. Kaplan, “It is not uncommon for companies to monitor the phones and computers of their employees. Indeed, in the wired age, most employees don't realize how much privacy they sacrifice. But pretexting goes a step beyond. The investigators use your ID--typically, the last four digits of your

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