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Professional Ethics and Internet Use

Question:

Discuss about the Ethics and Professional Practice for Professional Ethics.

In the technologically advanced age, information technology is used in every niche of the world for the various purposes. The use of technology has facilitated the use of internet among the users globally. Individuals’ feel connected to each other due to internet facility. Moreover, any information required is at the tip of the fingers for the users. Therefore, internet has been beneficial for the world in several ways. However, with the benefits comes the issues due to internet. Use of internet has some ethical issues as it is considered as the biggest spying machines of all times ("'World's greatest spying machine'", 2017). Each movement of the users are tracked in terms of the websites visited by them or actions performed by them on the internet.

This assignment includes in-depth analysis of the topic along with the investigating the ethical issues related to internet, benefits and challenges of internet.

Professional ethics is the key feature that needs to be followed by business organisations as this allows conducting business ethically. As commented by Crane & Matten (2016), the expected behaviours of the professionals in terms of corporate, personal and organisational is termed as professional ethics. This provides an opportunity to conduct business in an ethical manner. As mentioned by Johnson et al., (2012), the basic principles of professional ethics are integrity, objectivity, confidentiality, transparency, loyalty, abiding by the law and respect. In the case of using Internet, some of the ethical principles are breached as the government tracks the actions of the users for a good purpose. However, as argued by (), internet provides a fair amount of opportunity of spying on the users.

According to Banks (2012), integrity is one of the key principles of professional ethics. The concept of integrity helps emphasises on maintaining honest and straightforward relationship with the customers. Internet service is sold by a business organisation to the users for ease their work, therefore, honesty and straightforwardness needs to be maintained. However, as argued by Felzmann (2013), use of internet facility is a breach of professional ethics. This is because the users are completely unaware of the fact that their actions are been tracked down by the government. As a result, they use internet facility freely and give a chance to the government to spy on them. Therefore, the government does not value the likes, dislikes and preferences of the users.

As mentioned by Pearson (2013), business organisation needs to maintain privacy and confidentiality of their potential customers. According to law, the business organisation needs to maintain privacy and confidentiality of their customers. Moreover, any information related to the customers cannot be disclosed without their own consent. On the contrary, this professional business ethics is also breached while using internet facility. However, the websites visited by the users ensures strict privacy and confidentiality but the users are tracked without their knowledge and consent. However, some considers this crucial and significant as this provides an opportunity for the government to be aware of the any illegal activities and track them but it is considered as breaching of the professional ethics. The internet users are completely unaware of the fact that they are tracked.

Ethical Issues of Internet Spying

According to Brown (2013), this is also considered as lack of professionalism as it denies the basic ethical practices while doing business. Once aware of the customers considers internet spying as disrespectful and unfaithful. According to them they are not stated this fact in the privacy agreement that generally pops out before using any website in the internet. However, according to some of the customers this is for the betterment of the society and the country in order to prevent any actions against the country. Nevertheless, according to some users, they are loyal and responsible citizens of the country and suspecting them without any valid reason is disrespectful.

Though hampering the basic professional ethics, internet spying can be beneficial for the country and its citizens. According to the National Security Agency (NSA), internet spying helps them in retrieving secret information about the internet users that would have remained covered without internet. On the contrary, the technological organisation is making tracking and spying on the users difficult due to the increased number of encryptions. It is making it difficult for the hackers associated with the government to hack one information at a time.

Internet spying provides an opportunity for the government to track the activities of the users and verify whether it is good or bad for their country. For example, an offender ca run away after committing an illegal offense. Such an offender can be caught by tracking down the phone or other internet activities conducted. This makes it much easier for the security personals to get hold offenders.

Moreover, internet tracking is also beneficial at the national level as this ensures strict security for the country. The government is able to track and record any unusual activities and take required actions to prevent it.

For example, internet helped in tracking the offenders of Al-Jazerra in the Middle East that was causing immense threat for the countries worldwide. In order to prevent internet spying, it was also recommended in the country to stop using Facebook and Twitter, as this will completely restrict internet spying. According to the National Security Agency, internet has helped them in tracking and spying of the activities of the users and take-required action if they find it suspicious. This will eventually help in decreasing any sudden and uncertain accidents within a country ensuring safety (Timm, 2017).

Internet has made things more transparent as people have access anything they want at the tip of their fingers. For example, be it looking for any particular information, daily news around the world, tourism, booking flights, hotels, and cabs. As commented by Gainsbury et al., (2012), as everything is accessible, it is difficult for the users to keep their movement a secret. Websites provide privacy to a certain extent but the users are being watched over internet. Therefore, each movement of the users are tracked as keeping secret is not easy while using internet. For example, if a user is googling anything related to hacking, the government would immediately track the action of the user. This provides greater level of transparency for the government to track the activity of all the users.

Benefits of Internet Tracking

Report suggests that some considers social media site such as Facebook provided extensive chances of tracking and spying for government for spying. The government tracks any activity conducted by the users with an aim of been able to foresee any activity harmful for the country ("'World's greatest spying machine'", 2017).

One of most renowned hacker once mentioned in his interview that a revolt was seen against Facebook in Cairo. Facebook gathered the main participants after this very small revolt. Post gathering, the participants were beaten and interrogated in order to find the method and reason for such a huge step. ("Internet is world's 'greatest spying machine': Assange", 2017).

However, it has also been seen that internet is not considered as the technology favouring freedom of speech and human rights. According to freedom of speech, individuals have the right to voice their opinion without any restriction. Simultaneously, human rights allows individuals to undertake any action willingly. However, in the case of using internet, these factors are not taken into account. Moreover, internet is also not technology that favours civil life. On the contrary, internet is considered as the series of methods of spying on the users that has remained unseen ("Internet is world's 'greatest spying machine': Assange", 2017).  

According to (Kingsley, 2017), both Facebook and Twitter played a significant role in disclosing the activities of Al-Jazeera in the Middle East. This was only possible because the activity of the users in the Middle East was tracked. These suggests that internet usage does not follow the basic business ethics that signifies confidentiality, loyalty and respecting the views of the users.

Conclusion

According to this assignment, it can be concluded that internet is the biggest spying machine in the world. In spite of having several advantages of using internet facility such as being connected to the world, accessing information, viewing news and shopping, it is considered to have issues related to professional ethics. The main issue in this assignment have both positives and negatives. The greatest advantage of been able to spy for the government is to track all major and minor activities over internet. This provides an opportunity for the government of a country to prevent any threat or attacks against the country. Moreover, tracking on criminals and accidents is also possible with the help of internet.

However, the disadvantages includes the breach of the professional ethics in terms of loyalty, respect, confidentiality and abiding by the laws. When the users come to know about internet spying they feel disrespected and violated in terms of privacy and confidentiality. According to the users, been a responsible and loyal citizen of a country, spying and tracking them is unnecessary.

References

Banks, S. (2012). Professional integrity, social work and the ethics of distrust. Social Work and Social Sciences Review, 11(2), 20-35.

Brown, E. (2013). Vulnerability and the basis of business ethics: From fiduciary duties to professionalism. Journal of business ethics, 113(3), 489-504.

Crane, A., & Matten, D. (2016). Business ethics: Managing corporate citizenship and sustainability in the age of globalization. Oxford University Press.

Felzmann, H. (2013). Ethical issues in internet research: international good practice and Irish research ethics documents. In Internet research, theory, and practice: perspectives from Ireland. Research-publishing. net.

Gainsbury, S., Wood, R., Russell, A., Hing, N., & Blaszczynski, A. (2012). A digital revolution: Comparison of demographic profiles, attitudes and gambling behavior of Internet and non-Internet gamblers. Computers in Human Behavior, 28(4), 1388-1398.

Internet is world's 'greatest spying machine': Assange. (2017). Phys.org. Retrieved 13 May 2017, from https://phys.org/news/2011-03-internet-world-greatest-spying-machine.html

Internet is world's 'greatest spying machine': Assange. (2017). The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 13 May 2017, from https://www.smh.com.au/technology/technology-news/internet-is-worlds-greatest-spying-machine-assange-20110316-1bwoz

Johnson, W. B., Barnett, J. E., Elman, N. S., Forrest, L., & Kaslow, N. J. (2012). The competent community: toward a vital reformulation of professional ethics. American Psychologist, 67(7), 557.

Kingsley, P. (2017). Julian Assange tells students that the web is the greatest spying machine ever. the Guardian. Retrieved 13 May 2017, from https://www.theguardian.com/media/2011/mar/15/web-spying-machine-julian-assange

Pearson, S. (2013). Privacy, security and trust in cloud computing. In Privacy and Security for Cloud Computing (pp. 3-42). Springer London.

Timm, T. (2017). The government just admitted it will use smart home devices for spying | Trevor Timm. the Guardian. Retrieved 13 May 2017, from https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/feb/09/internet-of-things-smart-devices-spying-surveillance-us-government

'World's greatest spying machine'. (2017). NewsComAu. Retrieved 13 May 2017, from https://www.news.com.au/world/internet-is-worlds-greatest-spying-machine-and-obstacle-to-free-speech-assange/news-story/71bce1b8287b240d7be78d1a654dc5a4  

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