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Facebook recently disclosed that limited user data was sold to third-party firms by application developers. Facebook has a zero tolerance policy against data brokers and temporarily suspended the application developers.


1. Given that Facebook was not directly involved in the sale of access to user data, what makes this an ethical issue for the company?

2. What alternate view of ethics does Facebook express by the actions it took?

3. Identify and discuss the forces that came to bear on Facebook’s ethical decision making.

4. Discuss how its code of ethics helps Facebook maintain high ethical standards in situations such as the one reported.

SOURCE: G. A. Fowler, & E. Steel, “Facebook Says User Data Sold to Broker,” Wall Street Journal (Retrievable online at

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