on 05 March 19
Innovation in the world of information technology is escorted by at-least one ethical dilemma. From the ever expanding platform of social media to simple email updates, computer users still need to learn about keeping balance between ethics and business profit struck by service providers. Business industries, individual users and software developers must be aware of the rights and wrongs in Information Technology (IT) every day.
Critical matters that surround the world of IT usually arise from user expectations relevant to privacy and service provider’s ethical duty to use various applications or email sensibly. Someone who spent around two hours on Facebook understands that IT can be the biggest distraction when you need the tasks to be accomplished on time. But if utilised correctly and intelligently, IT can push business productivity to new heights.
Essentials of ethics in IT
- Data mining
A wide range of activities are covered by data mining that turn numbers, words and other information into distinguishable patterns. When exploited by responsible agencies or industries, data mining can even track a probable next move for a terrorist cell or particular buying pattern within the demographic cluster. The practice became common after the incident of 9/11 and is likely to move up again with the recent Paris attacks. In the meantime, the Total Information Awareness Progress intervened into every day practices into the lives of common folks by IT ethics veterans and civil permissive!
- Social networking
Social media craze has allowed people from around the world to speak with each other irrespective of geographical distance; however it also raised several issues in IT ethics. Take example of the program initiated by Facebook in the 2007 known as Beacon; it turn user’s personal details into an advertisement allowing greater cooperation among the site members. But, developers failed to create an opt-in system that let users to participate of their own consensus. Beacon project immediately came under fire for extracting private information from personal Facebook profiles and break all the privacy chain, exposing the details to everyone.
Yet another ethical concern that surrounds social media sites is the amount of security to be used during member registration. During the last few years, there have been several reports of abductions pertinent to MySpace. It brought up serious concerns surrounding the social networking websites about lack of protection for young users.
- Unsolicited/spam email
The term spam refers to some hundreds to thousands of emails sent blindly to users that eventually eat their inbox capacity. Besides the content of spam email, another major ethical concern is of identifying the spammers involve. Even with the entire advance IT services we have at our disposal, tracking all of these spammers remain a challenge but certain email campaigns through Yahoo and AOL may identify the crooks bold enough to target millions of users. Such emails usually carry viruses whereas following the information within these mails would only compromise your crucial data and corrupt the computer system.
- IT & intellectual property
The fusion of intellectual property rights and IT itself has been active ever since the 1990s. The evolution of various peer-to-peer downloading networks raised the issue of intruding artistic property. Remember the exclusive NBC rights to the Olympic Games 2008 as they were challenged by independent bloggers and online pirates who uploaded the film on YouTube.
The ethical concern that arises with intellectual property in the virtual world is the length of content that must keep a fine balance between the articles, images without duplication. In-short, every piece of information should be genuine and even if researched from independent source, avoid plagiarism as it puts credibility at risk.
- Filter online content
Even the renowned Comcast came under fire for blocking Bit Torrent downloads claiming that the ISP throttling of download is crucial to maintain high-speed. Religious groups, unethical sites and many others were banned together that later practice rebellion against Comcast’s efforts. Ethical debate raged among the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), ISP and users be it internet service concerned or content neutral.
Productivity boost factor
- Simulated work decisions
Virtual work environment is a major factor that not just improved productivity but communication as well. It allows individuals or groups to connect with one another regardless of geographical distance and even provide the ease of working from home. For instance; cloud-based technology lets you manage entire business operations anytime; be it from your home or some remote place provided internet access. All of this has tremendously improved business productivity, personal and professional satisfaction while mitigates turnover and conflicts.
The pool of smart devices and applications improved collaboration on projects thus saving time. Video conference lets you give presentation to offices spread across the globe with an option of instant feedback.
All of the above are crucial factors of IT ethics and contribution to business productivity.
This blog is listed under Development & Implementations Community