* Is the action illegal? Does the action violate any laws?
Ethical issues that were raised by the Hewlett-Packard (HP) are Board of Directors member’s usage of pretexting during an investigation of information leaks. Pretexting is a deceptive practice by which one individual pretends to be someone else in order to gain anonymous access to information or an individual. Hewlett-Packard was facing multiple problems during the year 2000-2006. One of these problems was that at least one board member was leaking confidential information to the press. This information was not only putting the company's reputation at risk, but it was also putting the company's financial stability at risk by creating lower trade values for their stock. HP Board of Directors hired a private investigator in order to determine who was leaking information to the press. The issue of the legality of the use of pretexting by HP was eventually ruled to be a non-issue, meaning that it was not illegal. However, this does not mean that the use of pretexting by HP was a good business decision. This activity did have negative impact for the many members of the board, e.g. many resigned and had their professional reputations tarnished.
* Do laws take any action towards the company?
Unethical behaviour hurt the company and the careers of the board members despite the fact that no laws were broken. Since it is internal ethical issue that affects HP only; therefore, no laws take any action towards the company.
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