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Module_9_with_narration_text - Module 9: Ethics, privacy...

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Module 9: Ethics, privacy and security 1. Introduction As capabilities of information technology grow, potential for its misuse is also growing. In this lecture we consider the ethics of information technology use, the impact of IT on privacy, and the purposefully harmful uses of information technology, as well as security measures intended to prevent them. 2. Ethics the principles and standards that guide our behavior towards other people Ethics are the principles and standards that guide our behavior towards other people. Ethics determine our ideas of ‘good’ and ‘bad’. Our ethics are rooted in our history, religion and culture both national culture and the culture of the organization we are working for. Unethical behavior, even if it results in short- term advantages, in the long term is likely to negatively affect the reputation of your organization (or your reputation within the organization). Loss of reputation is likely to hinder the ability of your organization to achieve its goals (or hinder your ability to achieve your personal goals). 3. Ethical versus legal Let us consider the relationship between ethical and legal. Here, we adopt a broad definition of what is “legal” – legal behavior is not just a behavior that follows the laws prescribed by the legal system, but also written policies issued by your organization. Ideally, your behavior should be both ethical and legal (dark blue quadrant in the slide). Occasionally, the pressures of business may push you in the direction of the yellow quadrant. Consider, for example the following situation you are executing a viral marketing campaign by allowing customers at your web site to enter email addresses of their friends, along with a message about your product. Along with forwarding the message, it would be quite easy to set your system to record the email addresses. Then, you could use these addresses to send out email with promotional
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Module 9: Ethics, privacy and security 2 messages. From the products recommended to the recipients of viral marketing messages, you have some idea about the interests of the people to which the addresses belong. Hence, you can use them in targeted promotional mail-outs, which are known to be much more effective than random spam email. But would it be ethical? 4. Ethical dilemmas A situation where the interests of business contradict your ethical values is known as an “ethical dilemma”. Ultimately, along with your ethical structure the degree to which you consider the behavior to be unethical (minor/serious/very serious) your behavior in an ethical dilemma is likely to be governed by a number of practical circumstances, some of which are listed in the slide. In the case of the above example of using emails collected for a different purpose in targeted promotional campaigns: How much harm/benefit will result from your behavior? “Little harm in receiving an unsolicited email
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Module_9_with_narration_text - Module 9: Ethics, privacy...

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