Abstract In recent years, the IT ethics has exploded

Abstract

 In recent years, the IT ethics has exploded in
both volume and importance due to ethical beliefs and decision-making. This
will explore the problems and ethical conflicts that might come across in an IT
based working place and would provide readers ways of how to avoid having
unethical behavior and methods of ethical analysis and also how to face ethical
dilemmas with the help of using the code of ethics whenever needed. It would
also talk about topics such as data protection and privacy, cloud
computing, computer security, data monitoring, software piracy, social
consequences and ethical behavior. In addition, providing acts which are not
morally right to do and ways of helping both parties which would be in
conflict.

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Keywords

Data protection and
privacy, cloud computing, IT ethics, software piracy, data monitoring,

 

Literature
review

Computer ethics

Moore suggested that the
study of computer ethics is needed because there is a vacuum of policies
surrounding the new possibilities. He defines computer ethics as the analysis
of the nature and social impact of computer technology and the corresponding
formulation and justification of policies for the ethical use of such a
technology. Ethical theories provide categories and procedures for determining
what is ethically relevant. There are various avenues of ethical reasoning.
Modern ethical theory can be divided into two broad categories: teleological
and deontological. Teleological ethical theories focus primarily on the
consequences, results, ends, goals or purposes of agent acts. They give
priority to the good over the right, and they evaluate actions by the goal or
consequences that they attain. Utilitarianism, a form of consequentialism, a
theory predicted on the assumption that consequences determine the rightness or
wrongness of moral actions is an example of teleological approach to ethics.  Deontological ethical theories center on the
act taken by the agent and the duties, rights, privileges or responsibilities
that pertain to that act. According to a deontological framework, actions are
intrinsically right or wrong regardless of the consequences they produce.
Deontological theories include both duty-based and rights-based approaches to
ethical reasoning, sometimes referred to as pluralism or contractarianism
respectively. The fundamental difference between the two is that deontological
perspectives focus on the specific actions or behaviors of an individual while
teleological perspectives focus on the consequences of the actions. (McCarthy
et al., 2005)  

 

Data protection and
privacy

Personal privacy and the protection of
personal identifying information are of concern to all of us. Innumerable
articles and conferences address our loss of privacy, either through the sale
of consumer databases or our own inattention. Opinions vary from “You have
no privacy; get over it” to “This is the end of civil liberties as we
know them. We teach people to safely maneuver on the Internet and minimize
their exposure to bogus sites set up to steal their identity, warn users about
the dangers of phishing and posting personal information on social network
sites, use firewalls to protect our databases, and enact laws such as the
Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and the Family
Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) to protect information. However,
what are the data custodians doing with the information in their possession? In
addition, what about the companies that are mining the vast stores of raw data
that are just waiting to be converted to knowledge? Exploring this topic is the
raison d’être of this book, written by a financial reporter for the Washington
Post. (kessler, 2007)

 

Cloud computing

Though an evolving paradigm, genomic cloud
computing can be defined as a scalable service where genetic sequence
information is stored and processed virtually (i.e., in the ‘cloud’) usually
via networked, large-scale data centers accessible remotely through various
clients and platforms over the Internet. Rather than buying more servers for
the local research site, as was done in the past, genomic cloud computing
allows researchers to use techniques, such as application programming interfaces
(APIs) to launch servers These may run on specific clouds provided by cloud
service providers (CSPs).according to Edward S dove, ” One of the greatest
concerns about storing genomic data in the cloud is whether the data are
secure. Programmers may fear that storing data on the cloud will lead to
unauthorized access to enduring data, accountability and reputation damage that
could result from a compulsory breach announcement, such as that specified in
HIPAA. Even though genomic data exposed of identifiers (including names,
addresses, birthdates and the like) may not constitute ‘personal health information’
for HIPAA or other similar health information privacy law dedications, recent
literature proposes that this could well change”. Consequently, researchers
have reason to seriously consider the security issues of genomic cloud
computing and the role of privacy laws. (Edward S Dove, 2015)

 

Data security and confidentiality on a
structural level, there is a contrast between the nature of cloud computing,
built on the idea of ‘locationlessness’ (or at least disparate localization),
and data privacy laws, which are still based on geographic borders and
location-specific data processing systems. As a cloud, computing is largely
built on the idea of seamless, borderless sharing and storage of data, it can
run into tension with different national jurisdictions governing citizens’
rights over privacy and protection of personal data. Indeed, as cloud computing
enables personal (health) data to be transferred across national, regional
and/or provincial borders, where little consensus exists about which
authorities have jurisdiction over the data, cloud clients and providers will
each need to understand and comply with the different rules in place—to the
extent such rules exist. In an environment where data exchange by researchers
is no longer a point-to-point transaction within one country but instead is
characterized by transnational, dynamic and decentralized flow, the legal
distinction between national and international data use may become less
meaningful than in the past. (Edward S Dove, 2015)

 

Data monitoring

Control issues arise in Terms of Service
sections pertaining to data monitoring. Can the CSP monitor hosted genomic
data, and if so, what form should the monitoring take and what conditions
should apply. Even though most commercial CSPs encrypt data while in transit
and at rest, researchers should still verify that the data are encrypted (and
find out how they are encrypted). Additionally, if it is researchers that
encrypt the data, they should query whether they want the CSP to have access to
decryption keys. Although monitoring of traffic data or bandwidth consumption
may be acceptable, researchers could be concerned with a CSP monitoring
personal data or aggregate genomic data uploaded to the cloud, even if such
monitoring is to ensure compliance with an accepted use policy. (Edward S Dove, 2015)

 

Software piracy

Software piracy is an
important emerging crime that criminologists need to research. Specifically,
given that software piracy can lead to prison sentences and/or fines, that it
is actively being prosecuted, and that it has several different layers of
financial costs, the behavior is a substantial problem in need of deterrence.
Sherizen (1995) remarked that: there is a need for information security
criminal justice practitioners to determine how best to change the existing
perceptions regarding the risks of getting caught in computer crime activities
including software piracy as well as the perceived payoffs of such
activities. Early and contemporary software piracy research attempted to
profile the collegiate software pirate. Such research indicated that college
students are ripe for software piracy because: they were never told what was
and was not expected of them with respect to hardware and software use, they
were not acquainted with the law, and they were generally confronted with
ethical issues (Cook, 1986, 1987). The BSA (2003) supported most of these views
from Cook (1986, 1987), and showed that most students did not believe that
current university policies about unlicensed software were effective. Hinduja
(2003) also supported the view of Cook (1986, 1987) that college students were
faced with ethical issues and decisions, and suggested that software pirates
were likely to participate in other forms of unethical behavior such as
academic dishonesty. (George E. Higgins, 2006)

Conclusion

In conclusion to this
essay unethical behaviors are varied and different from industry to industry
and IT industry being the spotlight in the current century makes it more
prominent to the current world. Although employees are the center of most
businesses these behaviors affect them or happen because of them in a close
context. This behavior may differ from the ethical and legality aspect of any
business organization. And hence while recruiting and employee the
repercussions of such behaviors has to be stated beforehand and this way the
person doing it and the person witnessing it can be aware of it and avoid them
in the near future.

Lastly business ethical
issues will always exist in an organization and the key to overcome these
successfully is to provide proper training to the employees on ethics and to
have a favorable relationship with them in order to uplift the ethical behavior
of the work place.

1503 words.

References

Edward S Dove, Y. J.-M. (2015). Genomic cloud
computing: legal and ethical points to consider. European Journal of Human
Genetics, 1271–1278.
George E. Higgins, B. D. (2006). Digital Piracy:
Assessing the Contributions of an Integrated Self?Control Theory and Social
Learning Theory Using Structural Equation Modeling. Criminal Justice
Studies , 3-22.
kessler, G. (2007). no place to hide.
burlington : Association of Digital Forensics, Security and Law.
McCarthy, R. V. (2007). Digital Piracy: Assessing
the Contributions of an Integrated Self?Control Theory and Social Learning
Theory Using Structural Equation Modeling.

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