Linking Platforms, Practices, and Developer Ethics: Levers for Privacy Discourse in Mobile Application Development

Journal of Business Ethics 155 (1):131-146 (2019)

Abstract
Privacy is a critical challenge for corporate social responsibility in the mobile device ecosystem. Mobile application firms can collect granular and largely unregulated data about their consumers, and must make ethical decisions about how and whether to collect, store, and share these data. This paper conducts a discourse analysis of mobile application developer forums to discover when and how privacy conversations, as a representative of larger ethical debates, arise during development. It finds that online forums can be useful spaces for ethical deliberations, as developers use these spaces to define, discuss, and justify their values. It also discovers that ethical discussions in mobile development are prompted by work practices which vary considerably between iOS and Android, today’s two major mobile platforms. For educators, regulators, and managers interested in encouraging more ethical discussion and deliberation in mobile development, these work practices provide a valuable point of entry. But while the triggers for privacy conversations are quite different between platforms, ultimately the justifications for privacy are similar. Developers for both platforms use moral and cautionary tales, moral evaluation, and instrumental and technical rationalization to justify and legitimize privacy as a value in mobile development. Understanding these three forms of justification for privacy is useful to educators, regulators, and managers who wish to promote ethical practices in mobile development.
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DOI 10.1007/s10551-017-3504-8
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References found in this work BETA

What is Computer Ethics?James H. Moor - 1985 - Metaphilosophy 16 (4):266-275.
Anticipating Ethical Issues in Emerging IT.Philip A. E. Brey - 2012 - Ethics and Information Technology 14 (4):305-317.
Privacy. An Intercultural Perspective.Rafael Capurro - 2005 - Ethics and Information Technology 7 (1):37-47.

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