Cometshare: My First Full-Stack Coding Project; A Virtue Ethics Analysis of Chief Security Officer Joe Sullivan’s actions during the 2016 Uber Data Breach

Vathalurin, Anurag, School of Engineering and Applied Science, University of Virginia
Vrugtman, Rosanne, EN-Comp Science Dept, University of Virginia
Laugelli, Benjamin, EN-Engineering and Society, University of Virginia

Anurag Vathalurin
April 29, 2022
STS 4600
Socio-technical Synthesis: Cometshare and 2016 Uber Data Breach
My technical work and my STS research are primarily connected through the idea of
mobile app development, maintenance, and implications. Specifically, mobile app development
is the creation, construction, and maintenance of a computer program/software that is intended to
function on a mobile device such as a smartphone, and it is central to both my technical project
and my research paper. However, my technical project primarily focuses on the creation and
development of a mobile application business as I would go on to explore the process, journey,
and skills required to build such a project. My research paper, on the other hand, explores the
ethical implications of maintaining a mobile application business. Thus, overall, while my
technical work and my STS research explore the topic of mobile app development differently,
both explore the various aspects behind mobile app development that are crucial to its design,
development, and maintenance.
My technical work explores the development of mobile application project I created
named Cometshare. Cometshare was a mobile application that was released to the App and the
Google Play Store which was meant to connect local Instagram and Snapchat users with small
business restaurants to encourage advertising of their products during the 2020 COVID
pandemic. To help small businesses reach out to a larger audience, Cometshare was designed to
let local social media users advertise product small business products in exchange for future
discounts the next time that user would visit that small business again. The project was built
completely from scratch using technologies such as React Native, Node.js, MongoDB,
Mongoose, Express.js, and JavaScript. The overall goal of our mobile app was to help small
business restaurants utilize social media platforms and its users to promote and encourage its
own business during the Coronavirus pandemic.
My STS research paper explored the maintenance of mobile application businesses by
evaluating the ethical implications behind Uber’s 2016 Data Breach and actions taken by Uber’s
former CSO (Chief Security Officer) Joe Sullivan. As Uber grew to be one of the biggest mobile
application businesses in the world, it went on to face many issues with maintain and protecting
its application and user data. Using the ethical framework of Virtue Ethics, I analyzed how Joe
Sullivan’s decisions to handle and hide Uber 2016 Data Breach from the public and from federal
investigators was an apparent example unethical behavior towards the maintenance of a mobile
application business. My paper explored how Sullivan lacked the virtues of professionalism and
clear communication and how this proceeded to show the importance of transparency with
regards to data breaches for not only mobile application businesses but for all major tech
Working on both projects offered me great insight into the journey, process, and
responsibility behind the development of mobile applications. My technical work provided me
with a better understanding of how mobile apps are constructed and developed as well as how
exactly they come to fruition. My STS research paper helped me understand the implications,
impact, and responsibility that comes with designing and maintaining a mobile application. As a
someone who is heavily intrigued by apps, my work on both projects has heavily educated me on
the aspects and facets of mobile application development. In summary, my work on my technical
project and my STS research paper have provided with the opportunity to explore mobile
application development through different approaches as each work has broadened my overall
understanding of this computer science field.

BS (Bachelor of Science)

Bachelor of Science in Computer Science
Technical Advisor: Rosanne Vrugtman
STS Advisor: Benjamin Laugelli
Technical Team Members: Anurag Vathalurin

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