Software Engineering faces a very similar problem as HeLa cells in the form Big Data. Like Henrietta Lacks, users will voluntarily provide their information to a second party. These second parties have agreed to provide a service that benefits the first party and for Ms. Lacks, this was medical treatments. The ethical dilemma occurs when the second party uses the information in ways that they had not provided informed consent.
Ms. Lacks’s doctors had provided her cells to third parties to aid their research. These third parties have been able to profit off information gained using her cells. Large companies collect the usage information from their customers to produce superior products. The companies do not provide compensation for the suppliers of the very intellectual property that they used. This is despite those very same types of companies lobbying for extended protections of their own intellectual properties dating to decade after death.
Privacy invasions can occur. Ms. Lacks is dead; however, her descendants share her DNA. This DNA describes what medical conditions they will face, but it is available to thousands of researches who are actively studying their medical history. Companies will sell your information too, this is most apparent in your spam folder where every single email that you receive originates from a company that violated your privacy.


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