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Ethical and legal issues of Apple.inc


I am going to be discussing and describing the legal and ethical issues related to the use of apple Inc. information. I will include the following topics; •

Computer misuse act 1990.

Freedom of information act 2000

Data protection act 1998

Different laws of apple

Different ethical issues of apple

Firstly apple Inc. must abide to the consumer laws. When customers purchase apple products The European union consumer laws provide statutory warranty rights in addition the one year warranty and the optional apple care plan apple provides for their customers. Non apple products that customers purchase from apple are still covered under the EU consumer laws. The EU set laws for business to abide to either providing a product or a service consumer laws are put in place. This protects customers when they purchase products that may be faulty or damaged within a short time period from purchasing the product, the consumer rights laws protects customers depending on the scenario and if the consumer is in the right according to the law. On July the 26th apple did face a lawsuit action against them. The lawsuit claims that apple did not disclose that the batteries of the iPhone are not user replaceable. Apple faced crucial critics because it did not disclose the actual price and inconvenience of replacing a battery only until three days after apple have first released the IPhone. The lawsuit also alleged that the battery can only be charged 300-400 times which means the battery will have to be changed on average every year. Apple also have manufactures abroad in other countries and they must also abide to the laws set abroad. Apple have manufactures in the south of china and one of Chinese law states that an employee must not work more than 36 hours of overtime during a month.


Another serious ethical issue was exposed in 2011, where serious accusations were made against apple. They was accuse of seriously mistreating their employees INHUMANLY and like machines. Apple hired around 500,000 employees to manufacture their products in two factories in southern china. Complaints were reported about the conditions within and around the working areas. Investigations were made and once investigated the truth was described much worse than the speculation. Many cases of unethical behaviour was found and they put the employees through such terrible things. It was found that before an employee was hired for apple they had to sign antisuicidal contract. Pledging that they will not attempt to commit suicide due to a large number of deaths in 2011. Once an employee was hired they had to work excessive amounts of overtime. 98 hours to be precise. That’s almost three times more than the Chinese law states that an employee must not work of 36 hours. Apple have broken the Chinese law which states that an employee must not work more than 36 hours of overtime during a month. Apple give workers 1 break every 13 days. Apple Inc. have a constant demand for their products so they need workers to be manufacturing products consistent. So apple decided to keep up with the demand it would be a good idea to build living dormitories near the factories for employees to live in. these buildings had hundreds of rooms inside but the rooms were not spacious, and 24 employees were assigned to one room. They are subject to be woken up at any time for work it was described to feel like military training. Apple installed anti suicide nets on the outside of all dorms windows so that the people would be caught and brought back to work. Why has apple chosen to do such cruel and unethical behaviour towards their employees? Because apple want to keep their owners and shareholders happy. They are making more money by minimizing their cost to maximise their profits, by going overseas and knowing that the laws are


more flexible. For example the minimum wage is much more less; also they can make employees work more hours. Doing this gains apple and the shareholders more profit. However when the public found out about apples activities a lot of apples loyal customers boycotted apples products. That’s a lost in sales of computers phones laptops etc. Also it had a major effect on apples reputation. This means less money which will lower the price per share and will take money from the stakeholder’s as well. This will make shareholders and the owners unhappy which may lead shareholders to withdraw their investments.

The Computer Misuse Act of 1990 The computer misuse act is a law in the United Kingdom that makes certain activities illegal, such as hacking into other people’s systems, misusing software, or helping a person to gain access to protected files of someone else's computer. The act was created after the 1984-1985 R v. Gold case, which was appealed in 1988. The appeal was successful, inspiring parliament to create a law that would make punishable the behaviour committed http://www.wisegeek.org/what-is-the-computer-misuse-act-of-1990.htm

Freedom of Information Act 2000 The Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOI Act) gives individuals rights of access to recorded information held by public authorities. In response to a request the public authority must tell the applicant whether it holds the information, and must normally supply it within 20 working days.The Freedom of Information Act 2000 is an act of the United Kingdom (UK) Parliament defining the ways in which the public may obtain access to government-held information. The intent is to allow private individuals and corporations reasonable access to information while minimizing the risk of harm to any entity. The concept was first put forward in 1997, was passed in 2000 and came into full effect in 2005. The Freedom of Information Act 2000 contains eight major sections called Parts, followed by eight explanatory notes called Schedules. The parts outline the rights of the public to obtain information, conditions under which such access may be refused, special exemptions, an appeals process and modes of enforcement. A request need not be prepared in any particular format, nor does the applicant have to justify the request. A request can be denied for various reasons for example if granting it would break a law compromise with the person’s health and safety of any individual or endanger national security. A request can be denied but the applicant can still make an appeal. Apple as an organisation is required to follow the freedom of information act.

http://www.solihull.gov.uk/democracy/freedomofinformation.htm

The Data Protection Act 1998 The Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA) is a United Kingdom Act of Parliament which defines UK law on the processing of data on identifiable living people. It is the main piece of legislation that governs the protection of personal data in the UK. Although the Act itself does not mention privacy, it was enacted to bring UK law into line with the EU data protection directive of 1995 which required Member States to protect people's fundamental rights and freedoms and in particular their right to privacy with respect to the processing of personal data. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Data_Protection_Act_1998


Whistle blowing Whistleblowing is when a worker reports suspected wrongdoing at work. Officially this is called ‘making a disclosure in the public interest’. A worker can report things that aren’t right, are illegal or if anyone at work is neglecting their duties, including: •

someone’s health and safety is in danger

damage to the environment

a criminal offence

the company isn’t obeying the law (like not having the right insurance)

covering up wrongdoing

https://www.gov.uk/whistleblowing Use of internet Ethics are a set of moral principles that govern an individual or a group on what is acceptable behaviour while using a computer. Computer ethics is a set of moral principles that govern the usage of computers. One of the common issues of computer ethics is violation of copyright issues or inappropriate visual contents online. http://infosecawareness.in/parents/internet-ethics-and-rules

Use of email An email is an electronic mail system of world-wide electronic communication in which a computer user can compose a message and send to another user as a type of communication. Ways in which Selfridges may use emails is to communicate with their existing customers to notify them on any new products which they have or to promote a sale that is on at the moment, they are two ways of using emails externally. They can also use emails for internal purposes within the business to notify employers of any meetings which are planned or to promote a job placement which is available. Emails are very efficient for a business as it is a quick way for contact but emails can also be misused easily. It is important that all members of staff are aware they should not post or send any information that the receiver would potentially find offensive, threatening, indecent or obscene. Members of staff should always consider this before they forward on email threads to all other employees. Staff should also consider their internet policy when replying to an email, if an email has been sent to everyone in the Company by someone and an employee wishes to give their views on the email to the sender, the employee shouldn’t reply to all.

Code of Conduct Code of Practice is a set of rules that a company sets out for workers to obey. It is not a law, but it is a rule that the organisation sets out. For example another organisation could make a rule saying that employees have to always wear uniform before and after work otherwise they will be fired. The


reason why businesses use code of practice is so that the firm can be run in order their strategy which may benefit them, for example for a high rated business like apple. their staff may need to be dressed in a certain way that represents the company.

Sponsorship/Charity Apple do not sponsor any charities but however they have made a very generous donation in the past of $50million to the African charity aid RED also donated another $50million to Stanford University hospital. Conclusion Overall legal and ethical issues in relation to the use of business are all important whether it is The Computer Misuse Act where it is unauthorised to access computer material, Freedom of Information Act 2000 where an organisations has the rights to request information held by a public authority under the conditions that the applicant knows what the information is being used, The Data Protection Act 1998 which protects the information that has been stored by businesses and makes sure that the people’s information is not being misused. Or even if it is an ethical issues like the misuse of emails like sending threatening or offensive emails, or whistle blowing by handing out confidential information to others, by abusing any of these acts it can end up in imprisonment or a fine.


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