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UNDERSTANDING ETHICAL AND SOCIAL ISSUES
The author defines Ethics as “the principles of right and wrong that individuals, use to make choices to guide their behaviors”. The growth in concern of this subject has been influenced by development of Information. The evolution of the information system has been characterized by significant changes in the social arrangements which in effect have had an impact on power distribution, circulation of money; rights and obligations. Like every other technology, such as mobile phones, television, radio, electricity, among others, information systems was structured to achieve social development, but the technology can also be used as a tool against the very social values. Information system has therefore benefited apart of the population while being a liability to others.
The growth in the computer technology has been characterized by emergence of threats that poses risk of losing the very information developed by the technology. The evolution of computer viruses and international spies, commonly referred to as hackers has raised a lot of concern in the computer Ethics discipline. The central concern is no longer the physical safety of the the computer hardware but the security of the information. The author classifies these security threats into five categories. These are privacy and confidentiality aspects: the issues of integrity-ensure that information is only accessed by the authorized personnel; an error-free service; consistency that guarantees the reliability of the information; and control of access to resources
Computers in the Workplace
Although the computers have become universal tools that make it possible to for both small and big organizations to carry out their operations, they pose great threat to jobs as the work, which was initially performed by many people, can now be undertaken by one individual who just has to feed instructions into the computer. Because of their high efficiency in performing tasks, many companies take advantage of the resulting high economic incentives to replace people with computerized systems. This trend has resulted into increase in unemployment rates as many functions are now being performed by computers. Even where the persons retain their work, the tasks have been computerized hence converting humans into passive workers
The growth in the field Information systems has been overly characterized by numerous ethical, which have raised a lot of concern among the researchers. Currently the challenges are more serious than ever before. This has been influenced by the major developments in the internet. The challenges range from the privacy of electronic commerce to the issues of intellectual property rights. Ethical issues have also been raised in relation with accountability resulting from the use of information systems. This has prompted the development of standards to protect both individual and organizational information. This has particularly been a major concern of people working in the financial sectors who have too ensure the system is secure from computer fraud and abuse so as to safeguard clients investments an information.
KEY TECHNOLOGY TRENDS THAT RAISE ETHICAL ISSUES
Although ethical issue has been a subject of debate for a long time now, the development witnessed in the Information technology has aggravated the problem. Currently, ethical issues have had serious implications on the social institutions; have also rendered some rules baseless. The developments in the information systems have provided an avenue for criminal activities and once regarded ‘socially unacceptable behaviours’. Four technological trends are believed to contribute to deterioration in ethics. These include:1) the doubling of computer power after every 18 months;2) decline in data storage costs; 3) advancement in data analysis tools; 4) growth in the Internet and internet services.