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Abstract

 In recent years, the IT ethics has exploded in
both volume and importance due to ethical beliefs and decision-making. This
will explore the problems and ethical conflicts that might come across in an IT
based working place and would provide readers ways of how to avoid having
unethical behavior and methods of ethical analysis and also how to face ethical
dilemmas with the help of using the code of ethics whenever needed. It would
also talk about topics such as data protection and privacy, cloud
computing, computer security, data monitoring, software piracy, social
consequences and ethical behavior. In addition, providing acts which are not
morally right to do and ways of helping both parties which would be in
conflict.

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Keywords

Data protection and
privacy, cloud computing, IT ethics, software piracy, data monitoring,

 

Literature
review

Computer ethics

Moore suggested that the
study of computer ethics is needed because there is a vacuum of policies
surrounding the new possibilities. He defines computer ethics as the analysis
of the nature and social impact of computer technology and the corresponding
formulation and justification of policies for the ethical use of such a
technology. Ethical theories provide categories and procedures for determining
what is ethically relevant. There are various avenues of ethical reasoning.
Modern ethical theory can be divided into two broad categories: teleological
and deontological. Teleological ethical theories focus primarily on the
consequences, results, ends, goals or purposes of agent acts. They give
priority to the good over the right, and they evaluate actions by the goal or
consequences that they attain. Utilitarianism, a form of consequentialism, a
theory predicted on the assumption that consequences determine the rightness or
wrongness of moral actions is an example of teleological approach to ethics.  Deontological ethical theories center on the
act taken by the agent and the duties, rights, privileges or responsibilities
that pertain to that act. According to a deontological framework, actions are
intrinsically right or wrong regardless of the consequences they produce.
Deontological theories include both duty-based and rights-based approaches to
ethical reasoning, sometimes referred to as pluralism or contractarianism
respectively. The fundamental difference between the two is that deontological
perspectives focus on the specific actions or behaviors of an individual while
teleological perspectives focus on the consequences of the actions. (McCarthy
et al., 2005)  

 

Data protection and
privacy

Personal privacy and the
protection of personal identifying information are of concern to all of us.
Innumerable articles and conferences address our loss of privacy, either
through the sale of consumer databases or our own inattention. Opinions vary
from “You have no privacy; get over it” to “This is the end of
civil liberties as we know them. We teach people to safely maneuver on the
Internet and minimize their exposure to bogus sites set up to steal their
identity, warn users about the dangers of phishing and posting personal
information on social network sites, use firewalls to protect our databases,
and enact laws such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act
(HIPAA) and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) to protect
information. However, what are the data custodians doing with the information
in their possession? In addition, what about the companies that are mining the
vast stores of raw data that are just waiting to be converted to knowledge?
Exploring this topic is the raison d’être of this book, written by a financial
reporter for the Washington Post. (Kessler, G. C. 2007).

Cloud computing

Though an evolving
paradigm, genomic cloud computing can be defined as a scalable service where
genetic sequence information is stored and processed virtually (i.e., in the
‘cloud’) usually via networked, large-scale data centers accessible remotely
through various clients and platforms over the Internet. Rather than buying
more servers for the local research site, as was done in the past, genomic
cloud computing allows researchers to use technologies, such as application
programming interfaces (APIs) to launch servers. Various cloud-computing
platforms have emerged for genomic researchers, including Galaxy, Bionimbus and
DNA nexus, which allow researchers to perform genomic analyses using only a web
browser. These platforms in turn may run on specific clouds provided by cloud
service providers (CSPs). One of the greatest concerns about storing genomic
data in the cloud is whether the data are secure. Researchers may fear that
storing data on the cloud will lead to potential unauthorized access to patient
data and liability and reputation damage that could result from a mandatory
breach notification, such as that stipulated in HIPAA. Even though genomic data
stripped of identifiers (including names, addresses, birthdates and the like)
may not constitute ‘personal health information’ for HIPAA or other similar
health information privacy law purposes, recent literature suggests that this
could well change. Consequently, researchers have reason to seriously consider
the security issues of genomic cloud computing and the role of privacy laws.
(European Journal of Human Genetics 2015)

Data security and
confidentiality on a structural level, there is a contrast between the nature
of cloud computing, built on the idea of ‘locationlessness’ (or at least
disparate localization), and data privacy laws, which are still based on
geographic borders and location-specific data processing systems. As a cloud,
computing is largely built on the idea of seamless, borderless sharing and storage
of data, it can run into tension with different national jurisdictions
governing citizens’ rights over privacy and protection of personal data.
Indeed, as cloud computing enables personal (health) data to be transferred
across national, regional and/or provincial borders, where little consensus
exists about which authorities have jurisdiction over the data, cloud clients
and providers will each need to understand and comply with the different rules
in place—to the extent such rules exist. In an environment where data exchange
by researchers is no longer a point-to-point transaction within one country but
instead is characterized by transnational, dynamic and decentralized flow, the
legal distinction between national and international data use may become less
meaningful than in the past. (European Journal of Human Genetics 2015)

Data monitoring

Control issues arise in
Terms of Service sections pertaining to data monitoring. Can the CSP monitor
hosted genomic data, and if so, what form should the monitoring take and what
conditions should apply. Even though most commercial CSPs encrypt data while in
transit and at rest, researchers should still verify that the data are
encrypted (and find out how they are encrypted). Additionally, if it is
researchers that encrypt the data, they should query whether they want the CSP
to have access to decryption keys. Although monitoring of traffic data or
bandwidth consumption may be acceptable, researchers could be concerned with a
CSP monitoring personal data or aggregate genomic data uploaded to the cloud,
even if such monitoring is to ensure compliance with an accepted use policy.
(European Journal of Human Genetics 2015)

Software piracy

Software piracy is an
important emerging crime that criminologists need to research. Specifically,
given that software piracy can lead to prison sentences and/or fines, that it
is actively being prosecuted, and that it has several different layers of
financial costs, the behavior is a substantial problem in need of deterrence.
Sherizen (1995) remarked that: there is a need for information security
criminal justice practitioners to determine how best to change the existing
perceptions regarding the risks of getting caught in computer crime activities
including software piracy as well as the perceived payoffs of such
activities. Early and contemporary software piracy research attempted to
profile the collegiate software pirate. Such research indicated that college
students are ripe for software piracy because: they were never told what was
and was not expected of them with respect to hardware and software use, they
were not acquainted with the law, and they were generally confronted with
ethical issues (Cook, 1986, 1987). The BSA (2003) supported most of these views
from Cook (1986, 1987), and showed that most students did not believe that
current university policies about unlicensed software were effective. Hinduja
(2003) also supported the view of Cook (1986, 1987) that college students were
faced with ethical issues and decisions, and suggested that software pirates
were likely to participate in other forms of unethical behavior such as
academic dishonesty. (George E et al.,   2005)

 

Conclusion

In conclusion to this
essay unethical behaviors are varied and different from industry to industry
and IT industry being the spotlight in the current century makes it more
prominent to the current world. Although employees are the center of most
businesses these behaviors affect them or happen because of them in a close
context. This behavior may differ from the ethical and legality aspect of any
business organization. And hence while recruiting and employee the
repercussions of such behaviors has to be stated beforehand and this way the
person doing it and the person witnessing it can be aware of it and avoid them
in the near future.

Lastly business ethical
issues will always exist in an organization and the key to overcome these
successfully is to provide proper training to the employees on ethics and to
have a favorable relationship with them in order to uplift the ethical behavior
of the work place.

 

 

1515 words

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                           

 

Reference

European
Journal of Human Genetics (2015) 23, 1271–1278 (2015)

 

kessler.
(2007). no place to hide, Journal
of Digital Forensics, Security and Law. 2 (1), 100-115

 

McCarthy, R. V. (2007). Digital Piracy: Assessing the Contributions of an Integrated Self-Control
Theory and Social Learning Theory Using Structural Equation Modeling.
 RV McCarthy, L Halawi (2005), JE Aronson
Issues in Information Systems 6 (2), 64
 

 

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