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Question:

Write about the ICT Classical Ethical Issues.

 

Answer:

Introduction

An ethical is a situation or problem that needs a person or an organization to make a choice between alternatives that have to be evaluated as right or wrong (Rogerson, 2011). ICT has numerous ethical issues that exist within the industry. Different people through various theories that one should use to arrive at the right choice or decision explain these ethical issues. One of the main ethical issues in the ICT is the ICT professionalism. Professionalism is said to be the way a person conducts himself or herself when at the workplace. In ICT, an individual who shows concern and treats other people with respect is said to be committed to professionalism same to a person who keeps his or her work, goes beyond expectations and is loyal.

Ethical issue; ICT Professionalism and Ethical Theories

ICT professionals such as system administrators in a conference in the US were asked if they damage the image of the organization were each person operated upon being sacked. Most of them said that they would. This should be an exceptional case for ICT professionals because for one to be qualified in the ICT field, he or she has to observe the ethical responsibilities. People in different organizations working under the ICT department may overreact due to some things that the organization does to them. The organization could be forced to sack ICT professionals when they are not delivering quality services and bring in other professionals who lack essential ethical conduct but deliver quality results (Kerr & Wiseman, 2013). This may be forced where an organization observes the utilitarianism theory. The utilitarianism theory is keen to achieve results without following the necessarily laid rules. Being result oriented the organization may end up not comparing the ethical and unethical professionalism of the people they absorb. This act by organizations raises questions whether that is the right thing to do. Ethically, this would be a wrong call for an organization to make because it should be in front line in ensuring that ethical conducts are observed to the later (Kim & Han, 2011). The company managers should treat the other senior staff, employees, vendors, customers and other people in the organization with respect. This will be a credit to them because they will be demonstrating professionalism. Other ways that they can shoe respect would be the use of appropriate tone and words when communicating and maintaining a calm demeanor even when people act with anger.  

As ICT continues to reclaim an increasing role in our lives, the way that the ICT professionals conduct themselves is proportional to higher scrutiny. For one to claim to be legitimate professional in ICT, he or she should not only operate within the bounds of the law but surpass it and conduct themselves responsibly and observe essential ethics at all times. This would be constituted by the social contract theory, which prompts people to conduct themselves unethically because the law protects them, and no one can criticize their code of ethics (Himma & Canellopoulou-Bottis, M2012). ICT professionals who do not observe ethical conduct might opt to carry out while violating the moral conduct of an organization. For instance, an ICT administrator may opt to use the organization's computer to access his Twitter account during his free time. Would this be termed as unethical conduct? The deontology theory comes into play in such a situation. Where the company observes this theory, the ICT administrator would be condemned for his or her actions. The deontology theory states that having a moral intent and observing the organization rules is most crucial ethical conduct compared to the results that the administrator can deliver (Jones, 2016). Deontological theory helps in rectifying ICT professionals who would think that they cannot be conducted for their conduct because they are highly qualified and depended on by the organization.

The ACS code of ethics provides a platform for both its members and for the other ICT practitioners who prefer professional standards. The code of ethics has six principles that ICT professionals should observe: prioritizing of public interest, honesty, enhancing a quality life, competence; professionalism and professional development. These principles do not only stand for the requirements of the law, but also need put into consideration potential consequences of how technology is used in an organization or the society. The principles need ICT professionals to not only observe and put in place expected standards of competence, honesty and practices but also change the inappropriate or unethical use of technology (Quigley, 2011). The emergence of huge data, social media and cloud computing, technology presents organizations with new and faster methods to get information and carry out business activities. Ethical conducts demand ICT professionals put into consideration the implications of their acts on staff, customers, and others. This is viewed through the virtue theory, which lays its emphasis on the value of the moral qualities rather than formal rules or results. An ICT professional who considers virtue theory is likely to care about what the other people feels because of his actions (Stahl, 2011). For instance, Facebook was mainly condemned by policy makers and the society a year back when it opened up that it had put over half a million users under experimentation that interpreted content feeds to determine the impact on how different people emotions would be. The fact that the users were not informed of this act of being manipulated in such a way, the study invaded people's privacy hence breaching the ethical practices for informed user consent.

Technology is developing so fast in a manner that the law framework lags behind typically when it comes to the provision of clear and definitive rules on how emerging capabilities can be used. This poses a challenge to ICT professionals to come up with ways that they can curb such capabilities from interfering the functionality of their organizations (Díaz Andrade & Urquhart, 2010). ICT professionals have a load of ensuring that the ICT department, which provides the guidelines on how activities will be coordinated, observes classical ethical theories and will the entire organization.

 

Recommendations

  • Ethics should stand in where the law does not exist. ICT professionals must be the first when it comes to consideration of the ethical implications of technology and Make sure that no one affected negatively by their efforts.
  • Organizations should consider putting ICT professionals under keen probation before employing them in their institution. This would provide enough time to know the kind of people organizations employ so that they may not use the office computers for their benefits or say negative things about the organization when their contracts end or terminated.

Conclusion

As seen from the conference that many ICT professionals said they would damage their organization's name upon being sacked, it is evident that many people though being qualified to work in certain fields do not have the zeal to observe classical ethics. In addition, companies may at times overlook employing people who have good virtues and good code of conduct and take in people without the classical ethics just because they can deliver most proficient services. This should not be the case because such people are untrustworthy and may end up tarnishing the name of the organization in case of any misunderstanding. 

 

References

Alvarez, S. A., Barney, J. B., McBride, R., & Wuebker, R. (2014). Realism in the study of entrepreneurship. Academy of Management Review, 39(2), 227-231.

Avgerou, C. (2010). Discourses on ICT and development. Information Technologies &     International Development, 6(3), pp-1.

Díaz Andrade, A., & Urquhart, C. (2010). The affordances of actor-network theory in ICT for development research. Information Technology & People, 23(4), 352-374.

Himma, K. E., & Canellopoulou-Bottis, M. (2012). Digital technologies and the obligation to  alleviate poverty: The digital divide, information gap and two forms of poverty.

Jones, S. (2016). Doing the right thing: computer ethics pedagogy revisited. Journal of Information, Communication, and Ethics in Society, 14(1), 33-48.

Kerr, P., & Wiseman, G. (Eds.). (2013). Diplomacy in a globalizing world: theories and practices (p. 123). New York: Oxford University Press.

Kim, B., & Han, I. (2011). The role of utilitarian and hedonic values and their antecedents in a mobile data service environment. Expert Systems with Applications, 38(3), 2311-2318.

Stahl, B. C. (2011). Teaching ethical reflexivity in information systems: How to equip students to deal with moral and ethical issues of emerging information and communication        technologies. Journal of Information Systems Education, 22(3), 253.

Rogerson, S. (2011). Ethics and ICT.

Quigley, M. (Ed.). (2011). ICT Ethics and Security in the 21st Century: New Developments and Applications: New Developments and Applications. IGI Global.

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