Information
Technology Ethical
Challenges
Sherri Shade
Ethics
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eth•ic
Pronunciation: (eth'ik), [key]
—n.
1. the body of moral principles or values
governing or distinctive of a particular culture or
group: the Christian ethic; the tribal ethic of the
Zuni.
2. a complex of moral precepts held or rules of
conduct followed by an individual: a personal
ethic.
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Webster’s Dictionary
IT and Ethics
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Who is responsible?
Who is affected?
Should IT Professionals be in the ethics
business?
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Training
Refer ethical issues to HR
Development
Implementation
Application
Ethical Behaviors?
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Is your 80 gigabyte hard drive full?
• Music and videos
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That sure is a great music where did you get it?
• Downloading of music from the web
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Have you given a friend a copy of your Microsoft Project
software?
• Software Piracy
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Did you read the confidential company file that was
accidentally attached to your email?
• Computer abuse
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Did you gain access to the network and invade other workers
emails and files?
• Computer abuse
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You formatted your hard drive prior to leaving your company
because you were angry about leaving.
• Destruction of property
Information Technology Ethics
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Deal with proper use of technology devices, data, services, and
software.
Prior to Technology it may have been easier to know whether the
activity was right or wrong
Virtual World
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Judging behaviors is no longer straight forward
Ethical or Unethical?
• A student downloads a sexually explicit picture from the Internet on a
computer in the school library. Other students are able to see the picture
• A student finds the teacher’s password to the school’s information system
and uses it to change his grades and vi the grades of other students.
• A student uses the copy and paste commands to place large parts of an
electronic article into an assigned paper. She turns the paper in as her own
work
• A student makes a copy of a software program borrowed from another
student to use on his computer at home.
• A student downloads a graphic file from the web to place on his own
webpage. However, he does provide a link to the author’s site.
• A student uses another student’s project website as a guideline.
• A student copies a previous published story in his own handwriting and
submits it as his own work.
Information Technology Ethics
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New ethical considerations may be required with technology
capabilities
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Email spamming
• Does the fact that the financial burden of unsolicited ads etc. now falls on
the recipient not the sender create new rules?
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Digital photography
• What obligations does a anyone have to present an undoctored photo,
even if the message is not as good as the digitally enhanced photo?
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Pornography access
• What security measures need to be put in place by schools, parents,
companies and libraries to keep individuals from seeing inappropriate
materials?
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Intellectual property
• Do we need better/clearer definitions of property?
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Globalization of the organization
• What do we need to better understand cultures, language, and behaviors?
Information Technology Ethics
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Some users view their computing actions as less
serious than their actions in the “real world”
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Examples:
• Stealing software from a store – no way! ….
• However, SW piracy costs businesses billions of dollars per
year
• Most of us would not pick a lock to someone’s house
• However, guessing passwords to gain access to a website,
information, or programs is a common
• Sometimes the technology is not well
understood…romance and fear may accompany a new
technologies.
• Movies, books, TV capitalize on this fear and romance and
make unethical or illegal actions seem heroic, or necessary
The Ten Commandments of
Computer Ethics
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Computer Ethics Institute
Challenges:
Code of Ethics
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No Form of licensing for computer professionals
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Results in no real way to enforce ethical standards
within the computing field
There is movement within the industry to create a
licensing process but there are many issues to be
resolved
• What will be included on the exam?
• How often will an IT professional be required to renew
the license?
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Developed by several organizations
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Adoption
Implementation
Monitoring
Example: http://www.acm.org/constitution/code.html
Challenges: Web Design
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Implementation of features
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Pop ups
Blocking/filters
Aliases and redirecting
Cookies
Privacy policies
Security policies
Spyware
Use of other design features
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Javascript
Graphics - pictures, buttons, logos, icons
Content
Design layout
Accountability/responsibility
Outdated material, inaccurate material
Challenges: Commerce
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Fraud
Taxation
Free Trade
Gambling
Auctions
Spamming
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Who were Canter and Siegel?
Spamming cell phones?
Term papers for sale
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Atlanta Journal Constitution aritcle
Challenges: Workplace
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Accessibility
Ergonomics
Outsourcing
Telecommuting
Customer relationships – Vendor relationships
Should IT professionals be in the ethics business
or should other areas of the business handle
these issues?
Monitoring
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Should your employer have the right to monitor private
email messages?
What are the two most popular Web sites for American
workers? Playboy and ESPN
Challenges:Workplace
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62% of employers monitor employees' eMail and Internet use.
68% cite legal liability as the primary reason to monitor.
87% of companies that monitor have a written eMail Policy,
83.1% an Internet Policy,
68% a Software Policy.
51% of employers have disciplined or terminated employees for violating
ePolicy.
35% of organizations have eMail retention & deletion policies in place.
10% of companies have been ordered by courts to turn over employee
eMail related to workplace lawsuits.
8.3% of organizations have battled sexual harassment and/or sexual
discrimination claims stemming from employee e-mail and/or Internet use.
Source: The 2001 Electronic Policies & Practices Survey from The American
Management Association, US News & World Report, and The ePolicy Institute-Click
Here for Survey Results.
Music Downloads
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Risk of getting caught
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Studies have shown that a majority of the people who share music on
the Internet are aware that their actions are illegal, said Michael
McGuire, a analyst with the Gartner Group. ``But they also know
that the chances of getting caught are pretty remote''
Why is “getting caught remote”?
• There are an estimated 60 million peer-to-peer network
subscribers in the United States alone, with tens of
millions more in other countries
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The RIAA is seeking out people who make their music
files available for others to download.
• The networks have features that allow users to block
others from downloading their files but allow them to
continue to download files
Challenges:
Speech
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Net Etiquette
Email privacy
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Email privacy policy
“Flaming” – insulting, argumentative or chastising replies to messages
Free Speech
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Accountability and responsibility for web content
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Abortion sites
Outdated information
Accurate information
Privacy and security policies
Porn
• Professors pc – filled with porn, found by pc maintenance workers
• Visa – won’t give permission to be used on offensive or pornographic sites
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Hate
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MACHADO CASE
Internet Filters
• Should filters be in schools or libraries, and /or should they be mandated by law?
• Filters can also be set up to filter out other subjects, would this be an ethical violation?
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Chain Letters
Challenges:
Computing Resource Abuse
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Computers in the Workplace and the Classroom
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Use or Abuse
Internet Access
Instant Messenger
Laptop use in the classroom
Email
• Legal document
• Can be modified
• Flaming
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Access
Computer Usage policy
Email policy
Challenges: Computing
Resource Abuse
 Computer
Crime
Viruses
 Hackers
 Theft
 “These cyber swindles and dot-cons
present new challenges to law
enforcement” said John Ashcroft
 US Charges 135 With Net Crimes
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Challenges:
Privacy
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Privacy issues are at the top of the list in regards
to ethical use of information.
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Loss of control
Misuse of information
Risk to physical privacy
Risk of identity theft (video)
Unwanted intrusions into daily life
USA Patriot Act (post 9/11)
• Efforts to detect and deter terrorist activity
• Datamining corporate data
• Loss of business and risk of lawsuits due customers being
outraged at their loss of data privacy
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Cookies
Privacy policies
Challenges:
Intellectual Property
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Electronic Copyright
Licensing
Interoperability
Licensing
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MP3
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Cyberlicenses
Shrinkwrap
Shareware
Freeware
RIAA court case against college students
University Internet Usage policies
Internet Downloads
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Files
Graphics
Text
Challenges:
Intellectual Property
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Patent, trade secrets, and copyright law
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Software Piracy
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Who owns the program
Who owns the algorithm
Why shouldn't I use pirated software? Who am I hurting
by doing so?
Piracy exists in everywhere.
Loss of revenue hurts everyone.
All software piracy is illegal and Software piracy is
unethical.
Various studies have found that the software industry
loses approximately $12 billion every year .
State Industry Study
CD-RW
Challenges: Other
Decision making using Expert
Systems
 Network Security
 Software accuracy and reliability
who is ethically responsible?
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Therac-25 Accidents
Killer Robots
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The Hughes Whistleblowing Case
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Conclusion: Some Ideas to Ponder
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Computer ethics today is now a global effort
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What happened? Where did our knowing right from wrong go
too?
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The gap among the rich and poor nations, rich and poor citizens
exists. How can it be eliminated or reduced eithically and morally to
provide information and services that will move them to into the
world of cyberspace?
Will the poor be cut off from job opportunities, education,
entertainment, medical care, shopping, voting - because they cannot
afford a connection to the global information network?
Whose laws will apply in cyberspace when hundreds of countries are
incorporated into the global network?
Are we missing an opportunity to introduce ethics at an early age in
children by not integrating these thoughts and practices in video
games?
Should more controls and regulations be introduced into the system?
Will they actually help to improve our moral and ethical behavior?
Unethical behavior continues to permeate industry, what
measures, policies, codes of conduct be changed to change this
behavior?
Works Cited:
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http://www.brook.edu/dybdocroot/its/cei/overvi
ew/Ten_Commanments_of_Computer_Ethics.ht
m
http://www.computingcases.org/case_materials/
case_materials.html
http://www.epolicyinstitute.com/
http://legacy.eos.ncsu.edu/eos/info/computer_et
hics/
http://www.spa.org/piracy/
http://www.nd.edu/~rbarger/cases.html
http://ksuweb.kennesaw.edu/~kschwaig/present
.ppt
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IT Ethical Challenges - College of Science and Mathematics