Ethical perspectives in Information technology

Information technology is the use of computers by technologies to store, retrieve, transmit, and manipulate data or information. IT is used in the context of business operations or entertainment technologies. IT is a subset of information and communications technology (ICT). It is a computer system – including all hardware, software, and peripheral equipment which is operated by a limited group of users.

The term information technology first appeared in a 1958 article published in the Harvard Business Review commented that “the new technology does not yet have a single established name. We shall call it information technology (IT).” Their definition of the IT consists of three categories: techniques for the processing of the data, the application of statistical and mathematical methods, and the simulation of AI through computer programs.

The Ethical Struggle

The trouble is to decide what is ethical at times to a philosophical conflict. Is the guideline for the greater good is the rule of thought, which is a small number of people from these actions to benefit thousands or millions of the people? The greatest good with the greater number of people is the “Utilitarian” school of ethics.

Everything should come to a “universal law” which wants to see the bound to everyone. This means never manipulating, nor prioritizing one person above another, which means Utilitarianism goes right out the window where no one’s rights exceed anyone else’s.

Ethics are complicated with more than 3,000 years of writings debating in the different schools of thought about whose rights supersede. Does the government have rights than citizens? For corporations, do laws apply to everyone?

Ethics of the Information technology

There are many ethical standards for IT professionals to solve today. Some of those include:

Security: In the 21st century of the e-commerce sites of the banking and government databases, the user using these sites, trusts that their information is secure of their password-protected account. When data breaches occur, the user has the fear of a domino effect of security issues, especially when users log-in  Facebook or Google as their master-key will be more secure. How the user should be notified, and what recourses should they have to use?

Proprietary Software: Software made for any company or organization’s there is an oversight process. For example, When building a house, there is a civic inspector who has to approve it against the building code. The software also conceivably impact more people with the client and the IT coding about possible ethical conflicts in software. 

Deep Learning & Artificial Intelligence: AI algorithms affect daily technology. From the access on your phone to your smart TV and car’s cruise control to safety mechanisms on flights. What steps will be taken when AI makes a choice which involves an ethical conundrum? AI is designed for the call, but what if it’s a questionable call then ethics will be considered?

Parental Ignorance: Today’s parents record so much of their children’s lives, uploading everything from personal moments, to creating hashtags with their child’s full name. These records follow their children for the rest of their lives. At what point IT will be protecting the child and their parents too.

Legality vs. Ethics

It’s entirely possible for many things which are legally right yet completely unethical, and that’s the problem of the IT industry to found itself as privacy and data come in the wake of Facebook’s scandal.

Consider a hypothetical scenario like the man dying on the side of the road so some people call for help and it is people threat to safe man. Do people stop to help, or drive on by? People are under no obligation to stop, it’s legal to mosey on, but every religious and moral authority says it’s people’s ethical responsibility to help that man.

Ethical Issues in Software Piracy

Issues of the piracy are like getting a hold of software without buying it, whether borrowing a friend’s copy, downloading it illegally from the Internet.

The copyright infringement of software is software piracy which is illegal in many countries. There are not legal measures for the protection of copyrighted software compelling ethical issues for and against software piracy.

Software Piracy

Pirated software is wrong which includes the loss of revenue to the creator of the software and without the software being paid for creators for designing new software.

In India, there is the provisions to the Software Piracy are covered under the Indian Copyright Act 1957 inserted by the Amendment Act of 1994. It includes the definition of a program and defines an infringing copy without the license or permission granted by the owner of the copyright. It further provides penal provision under Section 63B of the Act, known as: “Knowing use of the infringing copy of computer program to be an offense” and section reads is as follows:

“Section 63B: Knowing use of the infringing copy of computer program to be an offense: Any person who knowingly makes use on a computer of an infringing copy of a computer program shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than seven days but which may extend to three years and with fine which shall not be less than fifty thousand rupees but which may extend to two lakh rupees:

Provided that where the computer programmed has not been used for gain or in the course of trade or business, the court may, for adequate and special reasons to be mentioned in the judgment, not impose any sentence of imprisonment and may impose a fine which may extend to fifty thousand rupees.”

Arguments in favor of software piracy

Software licenses cost the same wherever in the world people buy them, but wages different greatly over the world. People in countries with lower GDP per capita will find it harder to buy software as for the emerging market economies.

There is another ethical argument to be considered is consequentialism defined as “the consequences of a particular action form the basis for any valid moral judgment about that action.” The Romanian president of 2010 Traian Basescu, invoked an argument and said that “piracy helped the young generation discover computers. It set off the development of the IT industry in Romania.”

Professional standards of the ACM

The Association for Computing Machinery or ACM is the world’s largest educational and scientific computing society.” Any professional developer wishing to join the society must accept a “Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct” to covers the ethical issues surrounding software piracy.

1.5 of the code expects members to “Honor property rights including copyrights and patents. The Violation of copyrights, patents, trade secrets, and the terms of license agreements is prohibited by law in most circumstances. When software is not protected then violations are contrary to professional behavior. Copies of software should be made with the proper authorization. Unauthorized duplication of materials must not be available in the market.

Legal & Ethical Responsibilities Related to Information Systems

Business information technology poses security risks and ethical difficult problems. Personal information stored in data banks used for criminal purposes. The anonymity of communication systems leads to unethical behavior. Information technology offers many new ways to communicate and store information for the business managers to balance the business potential with the possible effects in the market. There are Several laws govern information systems, but the law is behind the technology. Business people use ethics to bridge the gaps between new technologies and eventual laws.

Ethical Responsibilities

Business managers access to information systems have the responsibility to act ethically for using the technology. Some basic rules govern the convergence of technology and ethics. Many people believe that technological endeavor outweigh the risks for all involved stakeholders. Business managers have to ensure the technology to understand and accept any risks involved in it.

Technological Crime

Many laws govern technological crime from computer crime acts. The law considers different computer activities illegal. Accessing, using, or destroying hardware, software or the information contained in information systems is illegal to use an information system to release unauthorized information. The theft of copyrighted material called Internet piracy is another illegal activity. Hacking is another illegal activity involving people to use technological expertise to gain unauthorized access to information systems.

Privacy Issues and Identity Theft

Information systems have revolutionized like banks and hospitals keep records and organize customers’ personal information. Data storage comes with risks to the privacy of the individuals filed in the system. Computer hackers break databases and steal people’s personal information, such as names, addresses, and Social Security numbers. Hackers use stolen personal information to pretend to be someone else. Identity thieves steal their victims’ bank accounts to take out credit cards or loans in the victims’ names.

Employment Issues and Computer Monitoring

The Internet has a variety of ways to communicate like news articles, streaming video, email, chat, and humorous websites during downtime distract to the workers. The issue compounded by Internet access is an integral part of many jobs. Some companies closely monitor their employees’ computer use of the logging websites or looking at email. Computer monitoring is also an unethical form of privacy invasion.

Ethics of Ethical Hacking 

Ethical hacking uses the techniques of hackers to help businesses man to protect their infrastructure and information. Let’s discuss the benefits and ethics of our ethical hacking.

Secure Ideas make business information not to hack and have secure networks. This is called penetration testing which is an important part of any security plan. Ethical hacking protects the customers to trust their information to business information daily, helps businesses find and fix their security vulnerabilities.

Protecting the Defenseless

The defenseless people are customers and website users who are get targeted by thieves and hackers. Secure Ideas are the works to protect the customers by identifying and rectifying security vulnerabilities before the customer’s information to unethical hackers.

Finding and Fixing Vulnerabilities

Vulnerabilities are found through a group of talented and professional coders for finding the loophole in the security systems Yes, ethically our team members should have security processes.

Ensuring a More Secure World

Each organization has ethical hackers ensuring about infrastructure, information, and customers are less likely to be hacked. There are no guarantees in this world to provide the best processes and to more secure. The number of businesses who use ethical hacking for security increase, their security will also increase.

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