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ITC506 Topics In Information Technology Ethics

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  • Course Code: ITC506
  • University: Charles Sturt University
  • Country: Australia

Question:

Identify a recent (within the last six months) ethical dilemma or ethically questionable situation relating to ICT that you are familiar with. This situation can be either in the media (for example one you have sourced from a newspaper, or online through social media) or through your workplace.

a. If using a workplace example, to maintain confidentiality, do not use real names.
b. If you use a media article you must include the link to the media article in the references list of your assignment.

Identify the key ethical issues contained in your chosen case and use the three distinct perspectives of applied ethics including professional, philosophical, sociological/descriptive ethics to analyse the ethical issues involved in the case.

 

Answer:

Introduction

In this paper the focus will be given on the present ethical dilemma which is concerned with the latest information and communication technology. In the present situation, it has been evaluated that the use of Facebook is enhancing day by day.  Facebook is a platform through which communication between people take place and also, they can view the stories of the other people easily through their posts.  There are many people who are addicted and post each activity on the social platform. It is one of the most popular social media platforms through which information can be transferred to large mass of audience. Through Facebook people can easily share their views and opinions, pictures and also different images related to the information (Benson, Saridakis & Tennakoon,2015). Therefore, through Facebook communication can take place easily and also information can transfer in less time.  

In this paper the topic which is taken into consideration is concerned with “FACEBOOK DATA BREACH”.  This case took place in April, 2018 and there 87 million customers who faced the issues (Shah, 2018).  In this paper, the case will be evaluated by considering the three distinct perspective of applied ethics. In this the three distinct perspective are professional, philosophical and also sociological ethics which will be discussed in context to the case Facebook data breach.

Professional Ethics Perspectives

It has been analyzed that professional ethics are known by the ICT companies that can give assistance to employers so that they can complete the activities or the operations by focusing on the values and principles.  Professional Ethics perspectives is considered as perceptive focuses on considering standards of the individual behavior in context to personal and business (Shapiro & Stefkovich, 2016). 

Professional ethics also enhance awareness about requirements and situation of the customers. If focus is given on the team of ICT it has been analyzed that they have to face many issues in context to managing entire information.  The privacy information can give negative impact if it is leaked and it can also be a huge loss to the companies if the information of the customers is leaked. There are many unethical posts that are posted on the social media sites which can also give negative impact and can lead to loss to the organizations (Ablon, Heaton, Lavery & Romanosky, 2016).   It has been analyzed that professional ethics plays an important role to protect the information of the customers.  If there is no professional code of conduct then it can be difficult to attain goodwill in the market. Professional ethics focuses on the personal and business behavior which is important for ICT companies so that security can be maintained and also goodwill can be maintained in the market.

If focus is given on Facebook breach data case it can be evaluated that there are many individuals who uploaded personal quiz application. In this application the details are asked from the people which shared with the Cambridge Analytica. Therefore, it can be stated that the company does not focus on professional ethics.  When this incident took place, the management of Facebook decided to declare that they give information about the misuse of personal information which is unethical (Murphy, 2017).

This has given negative impact on the goodwill of the company and also affected the professional morals which are set by Facebook. After this incident the management of the company make the judgement that they will focus on effective guidelines linked with the ethics. It will also help to analyze the behavior of the customers in a proper manner (Jordaan & Van Heerden, 2017).  So, it is essential for the company to focus on professional ethics so that customers can be satisfied and to maintain goodwill in competitive market.

 

Philosophical Ethics Perspectives

In this perceptive there are various ethics that should be considered like virtue ethics, consequentialism and pragmatic ethics. In this it has been seen that virtue ethics focuses on the correct things related to the ethics that should be performed. Consequentialism is related with the motive that should be good and if it is good then results will also be good. Pragmatic ethics is related with social growth that should be there so that goodwill can be maintained.  Philosophical ethics perceptive is related with the systemizing, defending and also focus on the concepts which are correct or incorrect. It has been analyzed to achieve success in the market it is important for the company to focus on specified rules (Darwall, 2018).  In the present scenario, this perceptive has an essential role in the companies related to information and communication technology.

By focusing on the case, it has been seen that privacy and security should be maintained by company so that customers can be satisfied. Customers wants that their private information should be kept secured so that it can be not misused by anyone. So, if this case is considered it can be analyzed that Facebook focused on some settings that should be there so that security can be maintained. The setting that were introduced by the company after the incident is related with introducing the setting like users can see that to which application permission is given to view the information.  If the information is leaked of the customers then it can affect the entire operations of the company and can also affect the growth in the market.  Therefore, it is important that every company should focus on proper safety to the users so that proper dealing can be made with ethical dilemma in context to technologies. Proper ICT policies should be taken into consideration by the companies so that privacy of the individuals can be maintained and satisfaction level of the people can also be maximized. If the information is not safeguard by the company then it can also give adverse impact on the activities of employees and goodwill (Spiekermann, Acquisti,  Böhme & Hui, 2015).

Sociological/Descriptive Ethics Perspectives

This section is related with the safety of an individual. It is important for the company to maintain proper confidentiality so that customers can be satisfied. Sociological problems are enhancing with the use of ICT and also increasing the level of anxiety. In this perceptive it has been analyzed that main focus is given on the society and also it creates the responsibility among individuals. It can be stated that people have the capability to evaluate the morals by emphasizing on right and wrong situation (Hämäläinen, 2016).  The responsibility of ICT is to provide proper storage of information so that privacy cannot be suffered. Same applies with Facebook, it is important to maintain confidentiality of the data so that people can take proper decisions which is beneficial for the company.

The information which is leaked by the company should be maintained so that people can maintain their trust again on the company. It is important to consider social perspective so that profession integrity, code of conduct can be maintained and it can also to reduce the social problems like misuse of the information and also cyber terrorism. The guideline on which Facebook should focus should be secure for the people so that ethical codes can be developed in the right manner. The company should also focus on giving guidelines to the employees so that they can operate and manage the operations of the company in the right manner. Code of ethics should be maintained by the company so that confidence level of the customers can be boosted and they can again maintain trust in context the operations of the company ((Jabee & Alam, 2016). It is essential for the company to maximize the satisfaction level of users so that it can be easy for them to accomplish their objectives and goals.  Trust is also one of the factor on which the company should focus on by maintaining security of the information of the customers or the users.

 

References

Ablon, L., Heaton, P., Lavery, D. C., & Romanosky, S. (2016). Consumer attitudes toward data breach notifications and loss of personal information. Rand Corporation.

Benson, V., Saridakis, G., & Tennakoon, H. (2015). Information disclosure of social media users: does control over personal information, user awareness and security notices matter?. Information Technology & People, 28(3), 426-441.

Darwall, S. (2018). Philosophical Ethics: An Historical and Contemporary Introduction. Routledge.

Hämäläinen, N. (2016). Descriptive Ethics: What Does Moral Philosophy Know about Morality?. Springer.

Jabee, R., & Alam, M. A. (2016). Issues and Challenges of Cyber Security for Social Networking Sites (Facebook). International Journal of Computer Applications, 144(3).

Jordaan, Y., & Van Heerden, G. (2017). Online privacy-related predictors of Facebook usage intensity. Computers in Human Behavior, 70, 90-96.

Murphy, R. S. (2017). Property rights in personal information: An economic defense of privacy. In Privacy (pp. 43-79). Routledge.

Shah, S. (2018). Facebook suffers another massive data breach that exposed the details of 120 million users. https://www.thesun.co.uk/tech/6654504/facebook-quiz-app-data-leak-cambridge-analytica-scandal/

Shapiro, J. P., & Stefkovich, J. A. (2016). Ethical leadership and decision making in education: Applying theoretical perspectives to complex dilemmas. Routledge.

Spiekermann, S., Acquisti, A., Böhme, R., & Hui, K. L. (2015). The challenges of personal data markets and privacy. Electronic Markets, 25(2), 161-167.

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