One of the ethics issues in the article, “The Kona Files” (2007), was leak of proprietary information from someone in board members and top executives to the presses, such as CNET’s technology news and Wall Street Journal.
Second ethics issues would be a pretexting activity in order to discover the leakers. In deed, Pattie Dunn, Ron DeLia, Ann Baskin, and other members secretly monitored all the telephone and email contracts of all directors. Although it was important to define the leakers, obtainment of the call record over the phone using social engineering might be illegal and must be unethical. Therefore, explanation of this unethical tactics to public would be significant issues for Hewlett-Packard reputation in the public.
First of all, Dunn and other members of the pretexting activity had been able to find the source of the leak, from Keyworth who was a director of HP to ...view middle of the document...
Furthermore, the pretexting activity caused many changes of position in HP. For example, resignations of Keyworth but also Perkins, Dunn, Ann Baskins, Kevin Hunsaker, and Anthony Getilucci are the main alteration after HP made the disclosure. In addition, Mark Hurd, who conspire the pretexting with Dunn, would become chairman as well as C.E.O.
Dunn and other members who are related to the pretexting activity pleased not guilty; however, only Bryan Wagner pleaded guilty.
The pretexting activities using the HP’s sophisticated electronics and the best technicians might lose trusts from not only employees but also the public. Although the pretexting activity was used for discover the leaker and it was legal, this action was not good behaves based on moral duties and virtues. It is sure that everyone must feel hideous, if someone hack the phone records secretly.
In addition, public might think HP company was poor reliance because HP had leakers and pretexting experiences. I assume that the negative images of doing pretexting activity might not harm reputation of HP’s products directly; however, public people might be afraid or reject to offer personal information to HP.
The pretexting activity must have delivered psychological damage to employees. Some employee might lose motivation and loyalty for HP because the pretexting activity must not appropriate and acceptable.
The fact of pretexting of journalists stimulated them to write more negative articles about Dunn and HP, and made the event bigger and bigger. Of course Journalists would have played up this event because of big news. Nevertheless, I thought that Journalists might impress that Dunn who conducted the pretexting activity to Journalists as enemy because of unethical activity. It is certain that Infliction of unethical activity to journalist would cause avoidable attacks to HP’s public relation. Furthermore, this event broke relationship between HP and reporters. Since HP lost one of the significant connections with public, it might be hard for HP to control or take back reputation.