CSE3PE Ethics Assignment SEM-2, 2020
(Component Value = 20%)
Copying, Plagiarism: Plagiarism is the submission of somebody else’s work in a manner that gives the
impression that the work is your own. The Department of Computer Science and Information
Technology at La Trobe University treats plagiarism very seriously. When it is detected, penalties are
The Australian contact tracing app, COVIDSafe, which was based on the Singapore’s
TraceTogether, has been subjected to fierce debates over its mode of operations and
conditions even before its launch. In addition to the initial backlash for the government’s
suggestion that the new app’s should be mandatory, the app (and other contact tracing apps)
has raised a flood of concerns over the privacy and security of the app, along with many other
ethical questions. Now, with the new reports of government agencies being “surprised” that
Google may still pick up and collect users’ location data without their consent or knowledge
through their coronavirus tracing apps, it is time that this matter is discussed and analysed
through the lens of ethics.
This assignment is cantered on ‘Ethics of contact tracing apps’ that are being offered right
now. In this assignment you will write a 3-part report to analyse and respond to the ethical
concerns around the topic (using ethical bounds upon which to evaluate it). To clarify, you are
permitted to discuss contract tracing app in general and not bound to only the COVIDSafe
app, i.e., you are free to discuss the apps made by other countries (e.g. Germany and
Singapore) or by big tech such as Google and Apple.
The assignment is to be delivered/submitted online through LMS. Your paper should include
analysis of the issue and the response in a carefully considered series of steps.
Response Part 1: Establish the facts (300 words)
1. Outline a chronological sequence of events of the issue and the actions that occu
after (i.e. as a consequence of the respective events you have outlined). Ensure you
gather information from multiple sources (to verify accuracy) and cite them.
Response Part 2: Player and Team Response (600 words)
1. Clearly state the ethical dilemma
2. Cite at least 3 sources to build a case
o To support the usage of the app
o To argue against the usage of the app
Response Part 3: Your evaluation of the outcome (600 words)
1. Describe your viewpoint based on your analysis of background information.
o Be sure to elaborate in the context of 2 ethical frameworks discussed in this
o How does the eventual outcome resonate with your viewpoint
Instructions to follow:
1. An electronic submission of your answers (*.pdf or *.docx) through LMS. The
submission portal, labelled: Ethics Assignment Submission, is to be used for your pdf
or MS word submission. It is located immediately below this assignment folder.
2. Proper referencing method should be followed
3. Due Date 28th August 2020. Any request for extension must be submitted via the
University’s extension request form
4. This is an individual written assignment (MS Word or PDF). Include your name and
student number on (as part of) the document name.
5. In addition to the above parts that are to be answered as part of your assignment,
you must include a complete ethical analysis supporting your ethical conclusion
(decision) as described in Tutorial_5_Handout_2_Frameworks.pdf, Table 2.
Hints you may follow when approaching this assignment.
When considering this assignment, you need to answer the above 3 parts.
With any series of events – particularly when the issues at large are diverse, contentious,
and hotly debated it is important that you remain impartial to the issues when you analyse
There will be many ethical issues involved with this assignment – however it is of critical
importance that during your analysis you actively seek out the primary (i.e. the major or
most important) ethical dilemma that is involved.
The basic way to determine which is the main (major) ethical dilemma is to list all the
ethical issues/dilemma’s you can that are involved with the case in question, then,
determine which ethical dilemma/issue that, if resolved, solves all or most of the other
dilemma’s or ethical issues than are involved in the case. Whichever ethical dilemma
achieves this is the main ethical dilemma , which is what is required in Part 2, section 1
A clearly outlined example is given in our Ethics tutorial. This is written down and fully
explained in the PDF document called PC5 Sample Worksheet Solution.pdf found on lms
under Practical Class Week 5 – Ethics. We will be carefully going over this analysis in our
tutorials 17th – 21st August, 2020.
You will notice that if a surface analysis is performed – the main ethical dilemma is generally
not detected and it is only when a deeper analysis is performed that the major dilemma
then becomes very evident/visible – and it is that dilemma that will generally solve many of
the other ethical dilemma’s. You may observe that many of these other dilemma’s simply
evaporate as a consequence of solving the main (or major) ethical dilemma.
Once having determined the main ethical dilemma you can then proceed with section 2 of
part 2 – refer to and
iefly summarize 3 cases in support of the app and 3 cases against the
use of the app.
In Part 3 you are required to do an ethical analysis. The process/procedure to follow is
clearly outlined in Table 2 of the handout (found in lms) under Practical Class Week 5 –
Ethics folder, called Tutorial 5 Handout 2 Frameworks.pdf. To aid you a template to follow is
given in the PDF Tutorial 5 Handout_3 – Student Worksheet.pdf. Once you have finished
your ethical analysis then discuss your viewpoint in the subject. In particular, did your
viewpoint change at all after doing a complete ethical analysis?
Is there an Ethical Dilemma?
Your requirement is to
iefly discuss (Part 2) the ethical issues related
to the tracing apps that are being trialled now. Although not obvious
there are many very serious ethical dilemmas involved with the
introduction of “tracing” apps as described in the assignment.
This part focuses on your ability to recognize the existence of
ethical dilemmas. There may be many events that occu
ed in the
ative which you feel are “ethically suspect” however a careful, well
thought-out, impartial, and well-presented outline of the sequence of
events (i.e. the required “discussion” above) should reveal what the
ethical dilemmas in the na
ative are! In short there are many – some of
which are serious – however there will be one ethical dilemma present
that will essentially be the main or fundamental dilemma upon which, if
that dilemma was solved, many of the other dilemmas simply would not
exist anymore – this is the main ethical dilemma which needs to be
Given the luxury of “hindsight” (by reading the na
associated internet links) there may be a series of events that have
contributed to the cu
ent situation (that is the main ethical dilemma that
is apparent) however basing your response on emotion (person X was
wrong, s/he should be sacked, politician Y, Government Z, …, etc. ) or a
simple statement will attract few marks.
As part of your answer to this part you will need to identify for
yourself (as you read the na
a) The relevant facts contained in the situation,
) The stakeholders (or major players) involved in the na
c) Which of these facts raises ethical issues/dilemmas and by whom
– need to
iefly identify each ethical issue raised and once these
have been identified select the main ethical dilemma. It is this main
ethical dilemma you should then focus on in your analysis and
This assignment requires you to be impartial, unemotional and factual
stick to the facts, only consider the evidence (as given in the na
events, links) and don’t be tempted to impose your (emotional) thoughts
or judgement into the answer. You will have plenty of opportunity to
“pass judgement” (what should have happened, steps to rectify, what
your view is, … etc.).
Your answer to this assignment can be thought of as a process of
gaining an accurate, unemotional and factual view of the sequence of
elated events, then, writing a report on this sequence as a background
ief (say, to your manager) - identifying in your
ethical dilemmas that need to be addressed. This assignment does
equire you to perform an ethical analysis of the na
and to gain and provide a clear and accurate “factual picture” or insight
into all the related events from an ethical viewpoint.
Four-step Ethical Analysis and Decision Making Process
As part of your assignment you are required to perform a detailed
ethical analysis and decision making process concerning the
ative/assembled events or facts.
The steps (and sub-headings) have been clearly enumerated in the
supporting documents found in the Ethics tutorial on lms and should be
straightforward to follow (the “what to do” part). The guidelines
presented here will focus on the “how to do” part.
Understanding the situation:
1. When listing facts – do only that - emotions/opinions/…, have
no part to play here. Must include all the known facts/events
2. Identify and list any facts that involve any ethical issues –
must include what each ethical issue is raised for each fact
that is included. (Note that an event (fact) may raise more
than one ethical issue – each ethical issue raised for that fact
must be identified.)
3. When listing the stakeholders – it is important to identify what
part the individual performs in the case study - this is often
done as what position
esponsibility that each person
occupies/performs - within the organization.
This step is vital and well worth spending considerable effort on as the