Saying you are ethical is one thing; being ethical, is another

There are quite a few companies, saying they are in business to do good. Not just being socially responsible, but to democratise one thing or another. To make our world a better place – and make some money in the process, but that’s acceptable… doctors, lawyers, even charities are doing that for centuries and nobody is blaming them.

Take Tesla, or Google, or Apple, or Facebook, or Amazon. In their mission statements are all claiming they exist to make our world a better place. Same goes not just with brands or companies, but also with quite a few business professionals, but at a much smaller scale.

The bad news is that sooner or later, the ‘making some money in the process’ part pervails over that of ‘making our world a better place’, and the later becomes just another tagline, emplty of any real meaning. Even worse, when ‘doing no bad’ becomes part of legislation, they will do anything they can to avoid compliance – although they will publicly support such legislation.

Facebook, claimed after the Cambridge Analytica scandal broke up, they had no idea about how their users’ data were used. But just months later, it was revealed that Facebook executives have been trying to convince some banks to provide them with credit card transaction details – something profoundly against the law.

Apple has been spying on how their customers were using their devices for years – obviously without any consent – in order to help their engineers make improvements, until they decided that spying alone was simply not making enough money for the company.

A social media expert offers to help potential clients for free, by recommending those prospects to his own contacts, and with no obligation to purchase. Until they discovered that this ‘free help’, came at the expense of the social media expert spamming their contacts.

Do you see a pattern here? Do you see brands and business professionals claiming to be ethical, acting unethically on a daily basis just to make (more) money?

You see, claming to be ethical, with great moral values is easy and costs nothing. Being ethical is expensive – very expensive. At ScreenTag we know it first hand. We know it when we do not spy on our users or their recipients. We know it when we refuse to promote third-party products and services for a commission, by spamming our users. We knew it when we decided to build ScreenTag to be secure and easy to use, rather than sloppy and fast-to-market.

We could put all those under an impressive mission or values statement, just like all those guys. However, as the American idiom goes: ‘Talk is cheap, but it takes money to buy whiskey’. So, we prefer doing than saying.

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