Ethical issues related to information technology 2019
In Marchthe world was rocked by a Facebook scandal involving Cambridge-Analytica and allegations of privacy invasions that numbered in the tens of millions.
In business, there has always been a disparity between the idea of what is legal to do versus what is ethical, and this disparity is enormously wrought in the world of privacy and data. Beyond data collected by businesses, leisurely internet users are frequently warned by industry watchdogs that they are the product in an information-based world, and their data is business gold.
Do you stop to help, or drive on by? There is no wrong answer but being a drive-on-by type versus the one who stays to help means a wide gulf in personal ethics. But is it ethical? Social networking user terms may be a huge ethical quandary for industry, but there are so many other ethical standards for IT professionals to solve today. Some of those include:. These dilemmas barely scratch the surface of questions worth posing about information technology and moral philosophy.
Should companies like MySpace warn their users when porting their data to new servers so users can take their own precautions? As time goes on, more and more platforms and companies will have technologies facing obsolescence forcing them to migrate stored data. The trouble with trying to decide what is ethical at times comes down to a philosophical conflict.
But ethics are complicated and there are more than 3, years of writings debating different schools of thought about whose rights supersede whose. Does the government have more rights than citizens? Automotive: The next great technology will be that of self-driving cars. When a car is faced with two options holding potentially fatal outcomes on both sides, how should the AI be designed, and whose life should the programming protect? When such decisions are made by a computer using a mathematical equation in the blink of an eye, there is no easy answer.
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Products and Services for effective management of the workforce. Vox published a story this year about how a subset of ethics-conscious employees at tech companies like Google, Amazon and Microsoft are demanding input on the technology they help build.
One concern tech employees had was government contracts in which the technology is used to violate basic human rights. Looking at these two instances in a more macro sense, they bring up a few big questions, like are people who are just doing their jobs responsible for the negative impacts of the technology they create?
Ankit Somani, co-founder of AllyO, said that guidelines can stifle innovation. He took guidelines to mean rules that are enforced by the government and that apply the same way to every company. A policy like this would disregard the fact that different companies have different cultures, he said.
From there, individual companies could create their own internal regulations. These regulations would likely be very employee-driven, he added, since the employees entering the workforce now tend to be mission-driven and value-driven.
They question things going on at the company they work at, and companies can use that as part of their decision-making. Companies should be thinking about ethics, Somani said, adding that he would not want to brush off the importance of that.
One way for companies to incorporate ethics is by making it a part of their product development process. This would be the opposite of what happened at Google this fall. Something like this is a good learning experience, Somani said. It would have saved the company a lot of time if they had been upfront with employees from the beginning and not made the bid in the first place. What do you think?While the ethics of technology is analyzed across disciplines from science and technology studies STSengineering, computer science, critical management studies, and law, less attention is paid to the role that firms and managers play in the design, development, and dissemination of technology across communities and within their firm.
Although firms play an important role in the development of technology, and make associated value judgments around its use, it remains open how we should understand the contours of what firms owe society as the rate of technological development accelerates.
We focus here on digital technologies: devices that rely on rapidly accelerating digital sensing, storage, and transmission capabilities to intervene in human processes. This symposium focuses on how firms should engage ethical choices in developing and deploying these technologies. In this introduction, we, first, identify themes the symposium articles share and discuss how the set of articles illuminate diverse facets of the intersection of technology and business ethics.
Second, we use these themes to explore what business ethics offers to the study of technology and, third, what technology studies offers to the field of business ethics. Each field brings expertise that, together, improves our understanding of the ethical implications of technology.
Finally we introduce each of the five papers, suggest future research directions, and interpret their implications for business ethics.
Mobile phones track us as we shop at stores and can infer where and when we vote.
Algorithms based on commercial data allow firms to sell us products they assume we can afford and avoid showing us products they assume we cannot.
Drones watch our neighbors and deliver beverages to fishermen in the middle of a frozen lake. Autonomous vehicles will someday communicate with one another to minimize traffic congestion and thereby energy consumption. Technology has consequences, tests norms, changes what we do or are able to do, acts for us, and makes biased decisions Friedman and Nissenbaum The use of technology can also have adverse effects on people. Technology can threaten individual autonomy, violate privacy rights Laczniak and Murphyand directly harm individuals financially and physically.
Technologies have embedded values or politics, as they make some actions easier or more difficult Winneror even work differently for different groups of people Shcherbina et al. Technologies also have political consequences by structuring roles and responsibilities in society Latour and within organizations Orlikowski and Barleymany times with contradictory consequences Markus and Robey As emphasized in a recent Journal of Business Ethics article, Johnson Johnson notes the possibility of a responsibility gap: the abdication of responsibility around decisions that are made as technology takes on roles and tasks previously afforded to humans.
Within the symposium, digital technologies are conceptualized to include applications of machine learning, information and communications technologies ICTand autonomous agents such as drones. How ought organizations recognize, negotiate, and govern the values, biases, and power uses of technology? How should the inevitable social costs of technology be shouldered by companies, if at all?
And what responsibilities should organizations take for designing, implementing, and investing in technology? This introduction is organized as follows. First, we identify themes the symposium articles share and discuss how the set of articles illuminate diverse facets of the intersection of technology and business ethics. For some it may seem self-evident that the use and application of digital technology is value-laden in that how technology is commercialized conveys a range of commitments on values ranging from freedom and individual autonomy, to transparency and fairness.
Each of the contributions to this special issue discusses elements of this starting point. They also—implicitly and explicitly—encourage readers to explore the extent to which technology firms are the proper locus of scrutiny when we think about how technology can be developed in a more ethically grounded fashion. The articles in this special issue largely draw from a long tradition in computer ethics and critical technology studies that sees technology as ethically laden: technology is built from various assumptions that—either implicitly or explicitly—express certain value commitments Johnson ; Moor ; Winner This literature argues that, through affordances—properties of technologies that make some actions easier than others—technological artifacts make abstract values material.
These issues have taken on much greater concern recently as forms of machine learning and various autonomous digital systems drive an increasing share of decisions made in business and government. The articles in the symposium therefore consider ethical issues in technology design including sources of data, methods of computation, and assumptions in automated decision making, in addition to technology use and outcomes. A strong example of values-laden technology is the machine learning ML algorithms that power autonomous systems.
ML technology underlies much of the automation driving business decisions in marketing, operations, and financial management. The data upon which algorithms learn, and ultimately render decisions, is a source of ethical challenges.
For example, biased data can lead to decisions that discriminate against individuals due to morally arbitrary characteristic, such as race or gender Danks and London ; Barocas and Selbst One response to this problem is for companies to think more deliberately about how the data driving automation are selected and assessed to understand discriminatory effects.
An alternative approach is to frame AI decisions—like all decisions—as biased and capable of making mistakes Martin The rapid rise of technology has raised a host of legal and ethical issues that are unique to the 21st century. From personal privacy online, to the appropriate uses of new technology, to copyright and intellectual property on the Internet, the legal and ethical issues in technology are multifaceted and complex. Because of the ever-evolving nature of technology, new ethical and legal considerations are constantly arising to challenge ethicists and legal professionals alike.
One of the biggest ethical concerns, which often also becomes a legal issue, is the appropriate use of technology. As technology advances in its capabilities, age-old ethical questions are raised and brought into the realm of public discussion.
The advancement of stem cell research, for example, brought with it a host of ethical and legal implications for scientists and politicians supporting it. Earlier developments in cloning technology raised similar debates regarding the definition of "human" and the ethical obligations of the biological sciences.
In the realm of non-scientific technology, the development of technology for military use has raised questions about the responsibilities inherent in creating technology that can help encourage or exacerbate war and genocide.
Privacy is a particularly hot-button issue in technology, considering the pervasive nature of the Internet in people's daily lives. Many websites collect user data, from usernames and passwords to personal information such as addresses and phone numbers, without the explicit permission of users.
Selling this information is widely considered unethical, but is often in a legal grey area because the user provides the data in the first place. Similarly, the use of Internet monitoring technology in the school and workplace has raised questions about where to draw the line between personal Internet use and public resource use.
On a larger scale, the use of technology by some governments to infringe on the privacy rights of their citizens is a troubling legal and ethical issue being dealt with in the legal systems of many countries. Copyright and intellectual property rights are also major issues that have taken the public spotlight with the advent of technology.
Hot Topics for 2019: Code of Ethics in Technology
The development of the Internet as a publishing medium created a forum where copyright infringement became extremely easy and almost unavoidable for many creators.
Software piracy and the battle of copyright holders to exert control over their intellectual property is a fight that is played out on a daily basis online and in the courts. Marysia Walcerz has been writing since She has been published in several compilations of artistic and philosophical work, including "Gender: Theory in Practice" and "Retold Comics.
Reviewed by: Melissa McCall, J. About the Author.In today's digital age, artificial intelligence and big data are helping people navigate the world in new ways. While many researchers are using these new tools to innovate and advance different disciplines, a few, like Fred Fonseca, are approaching these advancements from a different perspective. We need to start thinking more about how we're using it and what we're doing with it.
By approaching emerging technology with a philosophical perspective, Fonseca can explore the ethical dilemmas surrounding how we gather, manage and use information. He explained that with the rise of big datafor example, many scientists and analysts are foregoing formulating hypotheses in favor of allowing data to make inferences on particular problems. Our theoretical understanding guides both what we choose to observe and how we choose to observe it," Fonseca explained. Fonseca shared these thoughts in his paper, "Cyber-Human Systems of Thought and Understanding," which was published in the April issue of the Journal of the Association of Information Sciences and Technology.
In the paper, the researchers propose a concept to bridge the divide between theoretical thinking and a-theoretical, data-driven science.
Fonseca used the metaphor of comparing data or artificial intelligence to a cane that a blind person might use to navigate the world. He proposes a practical reshaping of how analysts, practitioners and scientists think about their work. With many advances in artificial intelligence, and machines making more human-like actions and decisions, Fonseca said that it is important to reflect on the impact that technology has in everyday life.
To illustrate the ethical challenges that new technology can bring, he cited a recent Washington Post article about medical providers and tech companies using artificial intelligence to predict individuals' depression rates and likelihood of suicide. The technology scans medical records and social media posts for suicidal language and behaviors.
Some of the data is provided to physicians or other individuals that can intervene. But could that same data fall into the hands of marketers or other third parties? Because once it's there, people are going to use it and they're going to use it poorly," he said. Your feedback will go directly to Tech Xplore editors.
Thank you for taking your time to send in your valued opinion to Science X editors. You can be assured our editors closely monitor every feedback sent and will take appropriate actions. Your opinions are important to us. We do not guarantee individual replies due to extremely high volume of correspondence.
Learn more Your name Note Your email address is used only to let the recipient know who sent the email. Neither your address nor the recipient's address will be used for any other purpose. The information you enter will appear in your e-mail message and is not retained by Tech Xplore in any form.As much as information technology is important to our lives, it is facing some serious ethical challenges and it is up to the IT experts and users of information technology to be ready for these challenges.
As more emerging information technologies pop up on the market, most of the IT experts and users do not know how to go about the challenges brought about by these technologies. Information technology is facing major challenges which are lack of privacy, security, copyright infringement and increased computer crimes.
Since information technology greatly aid the speed, flow and access of information, cyber crime has become an ever rising profession. Many businesses and organizations are at risk of becoming a cyber victim on a daily basis, as most, if not all business are based on some digital network.
IT is not bad in itself, but the way humans use the tools provided by information technology has brought some serious challenges. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.
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Ethics Alone Can’t Fix Big Tech
New technologies require us to pay attention, voice our concerns constructively, and demand accountability when people are harmed. For the seventh year in a row, I've released a list of ten technologies that people should be aware of in the hopes of giving non-experts a window into what's going on in labs around the world. The goal has always been to raise some of the ethical and policy issues that surround these technologies, not to scare anyone, but to drive home just how much the average American might be unaware of when it comes to what's coming down the pipeline or already in their homes, potentially doing harm.
And while there's been the occasional entry on head transplants and cyborg roachesmost of these issues will touch us all in some way. Of course, when it comes to implementing policy or even suggesting that policy is the right way to approach an issuepolitics creep right back in.
Clearly, we've got a lot of work ahead of us before we can make headway, but that only means we better get on it as soon as possible. If you'd like to see lists from previous years as well as some further reading recommendationsyou can go here. In the meantime, here are the entries for the Tech Top 10 List :. However, there are no guarantees you'll get a new pet that looks or acts like your old one, and the animal-lovers out there would do well to note that the host animals used to gestate clones have a pretty miserable life.
Is it right to invest in this technology when there are so many animals in need of homes already out there? DIY neurohacking : At-home neurostimulation devices have hit the market, but plans for making your own are all over the Internet. Customers hope that zapping their brains with a small electrical current will help improve everything from memory to attention, but we don't know the long-term effects of neurostimulation. Combine that with high hopes and a few extra zaps with the intention of superpowering your brain and you've got a recipe for potential disaster.
Should there be some kind of oversight, or should we let people do whatever they want to their brains?
About Ethics in Information Technology
Behavioral biometrics : Forget PINs and passwords. We all want to be protected from hackers, but we might also want to think about how this information is being collected, stored, and used. Do we have a right to know what our behavioral profiles look like?
Will we have to sue companies to get the information? But 5G is also an enormous and expensive infrastructural undertaking and will require new regulatory frameworks. Devices will have to be replaced to take advantage of the new network, increasing the amount of electronic waste we produce.
Rural areas that still have incredibly slow wifi will be further left in the dust as the digital divide deepens. And to top it off, it will require an enormous amount of energy to run, far more than we're able to produce through renewables. None of this will stop 5G from coming, but what should we be doing now to help prepare? The datafication of children : Children don't have any right to privacy when it comes to their parents. That's why it's so alarming that parents are the biggest violators of their kids' privacy.
Ultrasound photos on Facebook and live updates from the delivery room mean children now have digital footprints before they're even born.Kunyonya mboo ndefu africa
And because any data that can be hacked will, we've already seen children and their families extorted for money as a result. The FBI even recently warned that kids are at risk in school as well and hackers have already stolen academic and behavioral data from thousands of schools.17 dpo bfn cramping
What does this mean for your child's future, especially in an era when background checks are ubiquitous and all-knowing? It's some of the strangest and most cutting-edge research in the world and while it's designed for national security, it often raises a lot of ethical issues.
Their Insect Allies Project has been around for a while, but has recently received more attention. The goal is to c reate genetically modified insects that can deliver viruses to plants. The viruses deliver new genes to the plants in an effort to make them more resistant to climate change and human interference.
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