Ethics in Information Technology The major issues concerning ethics with Information technology are: Privacy and Confidentiality, Freedom of Speech, Security, and Computer. When it comes to communicating on the web ones conversation are subject to another person listening or seeing the transmitted message. “Browsers track activities in history files, while Cookies dumped by web sites into information about a person and the things they look at. With the information collected by cookies from online e-commerce sites trace the purchasing patterns of the consumer. (Introna) The information gathered can give specifics on the identities of individual consumers and this information can be sold whereas leading to a breach of privacy and confidentially. If one can respect others PRIVACY on Internet or just in general the activity on the Internet can limit the chances for identity theft or other criminal activities. When it comes to freedom of speech does a person have the right to say what they want to say? People have to consider the standards of Netiquette. One may ask what Netiquette? “The rules for online behavior especially in newsgroups, discussions, and chat rooms, the Etiquette of Cyberspace. (Shea) When it comes to utilizing the internet one must follow certain rules, remember that the law on the internet should mirror real life laws. In cyberspace, the chances of getting caught seem slim. Therefore, most people seem to forget that a person is on the other side of the computer. People tend to believe that the standard of ethics is lower in cyberspace than real life. “Netiquette is all about manners and one is required to do their best to act within the laws of society and cyberspace. ” (Shea) Cyber-crime, is a serious matter, where crime can be committed immediately and the results can broaden with unbelievable swiftness.
Numerous crimes are being committed over the Internet due to the increase in hackers. People are hacking into bank accounts, then steal money, or manipulate systems by inserting worms or destroying databases. Some additional “examples of crimes such as hate crimes, pornography, consumer fraud, stalking, terrorism, theft of security or trade secrets, software piracy, economic espionage, and financial institution fraud. ” (USDOJ) In addition, businesses have become vulnerable with millions of dollars in losses due to security breaches and worms or viruses infecting their networks.
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The very thought of the things that we have access to due to the internet and the progressing information technology age leads one to cringe with fear. The ethics within information technology are only as good as the ethics and morality of the people utilizing the internet and the information. Works Citied “Computer Crime & Intellectual Property Section”. United States Department of Justice. July 28, 2009 . Introna, Lucas . “Phenomenological Approaches to Ethics and Information Technology”. July 21, 2009 . Shea, Virginia. “Netiquette”. July 21, 2009 .