According to a recent article from the New York Times, the web-based company Yahoo was hacked within the last few years and had information sold from over 1 billion accounts. Resources are cyber security specialists traced the hacking back to a reference associated with Russia. This incident happened back in 2014 and now the hackers have been caught and will be convicted for their actions.
“Alexsey Belan, the technical expert who was charged with breaking into Yahoo’s systems in 2014 at the behest of two Russian intelligence officers, has a long record of cybercrime.”
While the information was stolen by a third party, who does the client hold responsible for the unapproved breaching of their private information?
I believe this proposes a unique ethical situation. Specifically, when viewing it from the perspective of Bayles’ Professional-Client Relationship. When first viewing these circumstances it seems as though Yahoo would be serving as the professional through an Agency model of the relationship. They are a large company with several clients offering the service of safely hosting a client’s emails, data, and information. Furthermore, they are being trusted by the client making it an interdependent relationship more similar to a Fiduciary model.
Therefore, in the event that Yahoo is hacked and all of the clients’ information has been stolen and sold, the client must rightfully expect accommodations from Yahoo though it was not directly their intention to have the information taken. The client’s trust was in Yahoo to protect that information and that relationship has been broken. Now from a PR perspective, Yahoo must figure out how they will rebuild the relationship with their clients.