The answer to the question as to whether the parents of Justin Ellsworth should be given access to their son’s e-mail would have to be qualified. Mr. Justin Ellsworth died as a marine and these types of people are accorded the highest respect for sacrificing their life for the good of their country and of their people. As a citizen of the United States he is accorded certain rights that should be upheld and respected such as the right to privacy. Even though Mr. Ellsworth was serving in the marines, he is still entitled to the protection of the law as to his right to privacy.
However, this right to privacy is not absolute as it admits of certain exceptions. One exception is when, in the interest of justice, there is a need to determine the cause of death or when the death of a person is surrounded by controversy, all possible information should be obtained through whatever means. This would enable the court to gather sufficient information as to put an end to the controversy regarding the matter as to the cause of death of the person.
This situation contemplates a case wherein the cause of death of a person whether a civilian or a marine is undetermined, then there would be a need to gather information to determine the cause thereof. In this case, it is understandable that the parents of the deceased should be given access to his e-mail so that they would be able to shed light as to the possible events that may have led to the death of their son. The right to privacy is guaranteed by law to ensure that the dignity of a person is well preserved.
In cases wherein there is a justifiable reason to look into the private files or records of a deceased, then this right to privacy may be set aside to make way for the greater interest of justice. The parents in this particular situation are entitled to have access to their son’s e-mail. The mail service provider, which in this case is Yahoo, can disregard the agreement that they entered into to protect the privacy of their client if there is sufficient proof to show that there is an urgent and great need to look into the contents of the e-mail.
However, in a case where there is no uncertainty as to the cause of death and there is no need to uphold the interests of justice, then the parents would have no business to look into the e-mail of their son. If the parents would be given access to the e-mail, this may constitute as an intrusion into the life of their son who is entitled to claim the right to privacy. The mere fact that there is a relationship by blood between the parents and Mr. Ellsworth is not a sufficient justification to intrude into the private affairs of the latter. There must be proof of an overwhelming need to warrant the intrusion into the private life of Mr.
Ellsworth. In this case, there is no higher reason to uphold the interest of justice that would call for the parents to have access into their son’s e-mail. In the workplace, two views are being raised regarding the issue of privacy of the employees in the way they work. These two views pertain to the ‘Utilitarian and the Deontological View’. The Utilitarian view adheres to the principle that an employer has the right to listen to the employee’s phone conversations, to track their e-mail and other modes of communication when there is a need to do so.
This point of the matter in this view is that the employer would only intrude and start tracking the works of its employees when it has a reason to do so. This means that there was no existing rule or internal regulation from the start of employment that gives a ruling that all modes of communication whether by telephone, mail or e-mail would be tracked by the employer. The need to go against the right to privacy of the employee as to matters of exchange of communication would be implemented when there is a basis therefore.
This would have an effect in the manner by which an employee performs his work since the latter would not be able to do his job as confidently as before. The reason for this is that subjectively the employee would lose confidence in the way he does his work due to loss of trust or other matters. For example, the employer would begin to listen to telephone conversations to substantiate a termination complaint. The ‘deontology view’ on the other hand involves the employee in the implementation of the surveillance process by the employer. The employee is part of the proceeding to choose what kind of equipment or how the tracking would be done.
This would allow the employee to feel that the entire proceeding is not an intrusion of privacy but rather, it is a means to ensure that the work required to be done by them is performed properly. This would guarantee that everything is done at a professional level and is strictly for business or management prerogative. For instance, it is necessary to delve into their privacy for quality control and to ensure that work standards are being performed. These views can be applied in the given case in that the employer can look into the e-mail of Mr. Ellsworth if there is a reasonable ground to do so.
This means that the reason for looking into the e-mail is work related and not merely to subject such e-mail search to the whim and caprice of the employer. In this manner the right to privacy of Mr. Ellsworth is upheld and is to be set aside only for just causes. There should be a compelling reason to look into the files, records or e-mail of Mr. Ellsworth. The e-mail search should be limited to matters that pertain to his employment and should not transgress the personal life of the employee. References: 1) Shlinds. September 13, 2007. Employee Privacy in the Technology Age: Utilitarian and Deontological Views.
Retrieved on April 23, 2009 from website: http://www. associatedcontent. com/article/376030/employee_privacy_in_the_technology_pg2. html. 2) Cline, A. Deontology and Ethics: What is Deontology, Deontological Ethics? Retrieved on April 23, 2009 from website: http://atheism. about. com/od/ethicalsystems/a/Deontological. htm. 3) Guerin, Lisa. Workplace Testing: When You Must Submit. Retrieved on April 23, 2009 from website: http://www. nolo. com/article. cfm/catId/81576D30-7E60-45FF-ABDFDFC2B8CB0A8C/objectId/038C8ADB-AAF1-4EBE-883123EA7E750A65/104/150/206/ART/.
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