Ethics in the it industry

Introduction

According to the Larousse dictionary, "Ethics are rules or standards governing the conduct of a person or members of a profession (medical ethics, IT ethics, and health ethics etc)".

The conduct of a person implies integrity; integrity plays an essential role in the ethical behaviour. A person with ethics act with personal code of principles, apply moral standards and respect and consideration in every situation.

Information technology is the processing of data via computer, it is the use of hardware and software technology to process and distribute information in digital and other forms.

Ethics in information technology refers to the code of conduct or guidelines for people working in the IT industry or using IT infrastructure.

In this essay we will try to found out why is that ethics is so important to today industry, what's the role that it plays to help every business running smoothly. We will also identify what will be the impact of a non existence code of conduct in IT on the society.

AIMS OF ETHICS IN THE IT INDUSTRY

When talking about ethics, the more important thing to think about is personal values. Value is largely part of ethics. And you can talk about ethics without mentioning personal values and moral. The purpose of ethics in information security is not just philosophically important; it could mean the survival of a business, or an industry. Information technology, computers and networks do not raise new ethical issues, ethical issues has always been the major part of a working environment. However the Internet does contribute a fascinating sense of anonymity; the notion that no one can see or find out what we are doing.

The main role of ethics in the IT industry is providing a firm ground basis for the use of IT whenever needed[1].

The IT industry is divided in different organisation body, and each body apply various codes of conducts regarding their target, the area of working and their consumers. The ethics varies depending on the academic board. There is a global code of ethics for the whole information technology but each professional board will have their own preamble code of ethics.

PROFESSIONAL IT WORKER AND ETHICS

An IT professional is describe as someone with a specific or specialized knowledge, and also with a long and intensive academic career. Various role applied for someone to be call an IT professional, could a, Programmers, Systems analysts, Software engineers, Database administrators, Network administrators etc...

There are various are where ethics come in plays when working in Information Technology; professionalism, personal integrity, privacy, law and policies, communication, system integrity, education, social responsibility.

IT professionals have many different relationships that must be managed with: Employers, Clients, Suppliers, Other professionals, IT users, Society at large[2].

Relationships between IT Professionals and Employers

IT professionals must set an example and enforce policies regarding the ethical use of IT.

Software piracy is the act of illegally making copies of software or enabling others to access software to which they are not entitled. Software piracy is an area in which IT professionals can be tempted to violate laws and policies. The Business Software Alliance (BSA) is a trade group that represents the world's largest software and hardware manufacturers. Its mission is to stop the unauthorized copying of software produced by its members[3].

Many of the ethical issues that face IT professionals involve privacy. For example:

Working as a network administrator or a network security doesn't allow you to access data on a network whenever you want to. Because of the personal ethical believe, use of data should be only and strictly for professional purpose if not there is a breach of code.

Is it fair for an IT worker to access a private employee folder or email because it got the user password?

Many other issues involving privacy could be raised here, it important that as an IT professional you behave with ethical conduct that regulate the work of IT.

Other issues that we need to look at in the relationship between IT professional and employer is the Trade secret; Information used in business must be only within the business if not there is a breach of code of ethics

In looking to those privacy issues above, it is so easy to see how one those actions above could be used in critical way to jeopardize the working environment. Many of the information gain by an IT professional could be use as a form of pressure to have a political advantage or to be used to get someone fired.[4]

Relationships between IT Professionals and Clients

IT professional provide various type of work at the hardware and software services at some cost within a given time period. According to Deb shinder network security expert, "Ethical problems arise if a company recommends its own products and services to remedy problems they have detected". It is then important that a strong code of ethics need to be set up to avoid this kind situation to happen for the sake of every party.[5]

Relationships between IT Professionals and Suppliers

There need for a good relationship between supplier is very important for the long term survival of the business. It is also important to have a fair deal with suppliers each when required. Bribery should be always avoided in respect of the code of ethics.[6]

Relationships between IT Professionals and Other Professionals

Working environment is a very delicate place to be, mutual respect between each professional is vital for day to day running of the business. Professional should adopt a professional code of conduct. Some ethical issues between members of the IT profession could arise but it important that strictly respect of the code apply.[7]

Relationships between IT Professionals and IT Users

IT users are people that use any IT infrastructure everyday for different purpose. Basically is a person for whom a hardware or software product is designed. It's important to understand the user needs and capabilities to establish an ethical environment that supports ethical behaviour by users[8].

Relationships between IT Professionals and Society

The fact that IT professional are the main people behind the technology we use, make play an important role on us and the society in general. They play a major role in the IT user life. Maintaining and respecting the code of ethics establishes is essential and vital for the society.

There action can affect the society in various ways, it's then important they adhere to the code of ethics and rules that are in place to maintain a coherent and free of bias society.

ETHICS AND IT END USERS

Ethical use of IT is a really growing concern nowadays, with the rapid growing of internet and it social network application, download, online streaming and all others available application for the internet make this area a very concern for local government and watchdog.

End users are main people affected by this issue, because it so hard to have a written code of conduct of conduct that user should follow. Code of ethics here required moral and personal integrity of each user. With the rapid growth of pornography, hacking, social network attack, viruses and other related threats, it is important that each user apply some common sense moral for the simple fact that this an area that is really difficult to monitor.

The main objective of the code of ethics isto establish professional business standards that will protect and enhance the concept, the image, the credibility and the sustainability of the business.

CONCLUSION

The code of ethics provide guidance by establishing a set of rules and standards for the use of IT and for the behaviour to adopt when working in the IT environment or when using IT infrastructure. There are different from the law but there are made in accordance with the law.

So many issues regarding the ethics in IT couldn't be raise here, the ethics in IT is a very large to develop, many IT authors have wrote books and journals to raise this issues. In our essay we have try to give an idea how ethics come in play in the working environment and for IT user.

References

  • Author:Deb Shinder , Scene of cybercrime, Section:Articles : Misc Network Security, Published:Jul 19, 2005
  • Deb shinder, Lead Technical contributor Window Security,www.windowsecurity.com .Web resource for network administrators. 2002-present.
  • George R., 2007. Ethics in Information Technology, Second Edition, Course Technology.
  • Business Software Alliance, BSA member February 2010. Available at www.bsa.org
  • www.sans.org computer security training, certification and research
  • http://www.sans.org/ns2006/description.php?tid=425

Lecturer Yassin Hussain London School of Management and Accounting 2010

  1. http://www.sans.org/ns2006/description.php?tid=425
  2. Ethics in Information Technology, Second Edition
  3. Ethics in Information Technology, Second Edition
  4. Ethics in Information Technology, Second Edition
  5. Ethics in Information Technology, Second Edition
  6. Ethics in Information Technology, Second Edition
  7. Ethics in Information Technology, Second Edition
  8. Ethics in Information Technology, Second Edition

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