I just recently read an article from the New York Times which talks about how us Americans might be getting spied on by the Chinese Government. A security contracting company found a preinstalled software in some Android phones that monitors the location of the user, the people they talk to, and what they are actually typing in their text messages. American authorities say it could be a possibility that its just an attempt to data mine for advertising purposes, but it could also be a Chinese government effort to collect intelligence. How many people that have actually been affected by this is almost impossible to tell because the company who wrote the software says that its code runs on more than 700 million phones. An American phones manufacturer said that 120,000 of its phones had been affected.
If all of this is true, the Chinese government or some other company could have all of any ones personal information and any conversation that they have had with any person, ever. Now to me that is quite disturbing, and I think under the view of Kant it can also be seen as immoral. Kant says that an action is moral or not based on the intentions of it. And in this case I don’t think the intentions were good. I think that the intentions of whoever committed this action was to violate peoples’ rights to privacy, and use that information in order to use it for personal gain by selling it to some advertising companies, or maybe even governments. Kant’s humanity formulation says that you aren’t supposed to use someone as a means or as a things, and I think whoever is doing this data mining is using them strictly as a means in order to gain more information. Overall, this who situation is very wrong.