Archive for the ‘Relevance Of Ethics To People In IT’ Category

ethics_thumbAlong the lines of Information Technology, the importance of ethics is forsaken. Intellectual property is lost along the lines of piracy, privacy is invaded through hacking; people’s systems are captured through viruses etc. How can these be addressed?

Companies, both software and music and movie producers work hard to maximize profit, but pirates cut it down. The root of this, I believe, started in manufacturing devices e.g. smartphones and computers that have Bluetooth which allows users to exchange files for free, CD/DVD writers used to duplicate disks (music, software, movies), and much more. Apart from issuing copyrights, how can producers protect what they own?

Having been declared ineffective and only bringing damage, copy protection has evolved. With augmentation, copy protection might serves as a viable solution to piracy. Companies like SG-Lock, Microcosm, among others have brought a more effective copy protection system. Copy protection is not the only solution however; the issuing of software registration codes is also used as a means to limit piracy.

I learned that one of the reasons viruses are created is to take control of a computer and use it for specific tasks. Through emails, hackers can get malicious software through. As all of that happens without the user’s knowledge, antivirus can be a ‘watchman’, working to detect and capture viruses before they spread into the system.

Privacy is important, however most computer users are victims of spying and data theft. Some companies consider email interception as a way to monitor their workers’ progress; however it is a violation of privacy looking at it in terms of ethics. This is an unethical act, but it is justified by contracts. ‘Black hat’ hackers break into their systems to steal sensitive information like banking details, credit card numbers, Identity numbers etc. To solve this, computers can be protected by firewall, which will monitor everything that enters and exits the system. These systems must be regularly updated in order to stop the latest network tactics by hackers. Encryption of files, password protection also count as useful solutions.

Even though hackers find their way around this systems, with continuous development, hackers can be ceased.

(Links to the information are aggregated in the above website)

Author: Koketso Sithatu

Editor: Kelebogile Mokwena


Business & Society (Ethics and Stakeholder Management), Archie B. Carroll, Ann K. Buchholtz

Computer Concepts, 2010: Comprehensive, June Jamrich Parsons, Dan Oja

Guest Contributor, August 15, 2006, 7:00 am PDT


Ethics are principles which govern people’s behaviour. A person who behaves ethically is one who lives according to the principles given to them by the society. Ethics are expressed in statements of behaviour.

There are certain factors which lead to unethical behaviour in the IT world, some of which includes:
> Self Regulation.
> Mandatory Participation.
> Deception.
> The right to know.

SELF REGULATION > Self regulation has to do with the inner person. An individual has to behave in a right manner before having to be told so, this rely on the conscience of a person and if you lack such, you turn to behave unethically.

MANDATORY PARTICIPATION > It is compulsary for people to give honest references when it comes to using someone’s information. Some people end up taking advantage of this matter in a way that they do not participate fairly and with a clean conscience, they use information as if it’s their own.

DECEPTION > People are not giving true intentions and this result in audience being misled. It is a situation where by you are being deceived, not told the truth and made to believe that whatever is said is true.

A RIGHT TO KNOW > In this case you might be having access to things such as pin codes, knowing how things (systems) are used, you know what is collected, the storage and for how long it will be kept.
I think this also applies to a situation in which you are computer literate and you using your knowledge to manipulate documents such as Identity Documents, Licenses, Study records or any other

LAWS > Laws are being given around the world in relation to this matter. Some of which includes a lawful and fair collection of data, accuracy and appropriate security measures.

Author: Kelebogile Mokwena
Edited by: Koketso Sithatu

*Communications of AIS, Volume7 Article4
*Research Ethics in information Systems: Would a Code of practice helf?
By> R.Davison, N.Kock, K.D.Loch and R.Clarke

http://www.academia.adu/804222/consumer_ethics_The_role_of_self_regulation_focus ethics


In Information technology we look at people in IT and where they actually draw the line between their work, values and challenges encountered in the IT profession as far as ethics are concerned.

Are ethics in conflict with IT because of the availability and exposure to technology or individuals themselves? According to the online Dissertation written by Sutirtha Chatterjee, “Attitude is strongly influenced by ethical beliefs of the individual and moral intensity of the act meaning that the unethical use of IT is determined by individual factors such as ethical beliefs”.

An Episode on Third Degree (17th April 2013), talked about workers who had access to the Banks database and used it to steal people’s money from their bank accounts. How often does management monitor employees hat have access to significant information to prevent such misconduct?

Applications that we use are also unsafe, for example. Facebook started a programme called Beacon in 2007 that allowed users personal information to become advertisements. Hence we see products being advertised to us on social networks.

As far as email spams and security are concerned we are not protected on the internet as there are hackers. Social networks try to avoid such actions by allowing users to have passwords and privacy policies before adopting an application. With such measures put in place, people are still reluctant to read such policies.

However, besides all the unethical practices there are still a few people who practice ethics in IT. Laws such as banning people from copying and downloading on the internet as well as censoring the content online such as pornography and others.

As these laws are implemented, the question still poses people’s minds. Are we really safe with our personal information online?

Author: Kim Vova

Edited by: Thulani Motha


Unethical behaviour using information technology

Author of the online Dissertation: Sutirtha Chatterjee


Date accessed: 26 April 2013

Read more about Ethics in information technology

Date accessed: 30 April 2013

Third Degree, ETV screened on the 17th April 2013


One often wonders whether ethics are relevant in IT and whether or not individuals in the profession practice ethics. According to the 2011 Roy Image of Professions Survey IT professionals and business executives were ranked amongst the least honest professions.

Since professionals are capable of making judgements and applying skills to reach informed decisions, they have to practice professional ethics, also known as Ethical Business Practices.

Ethical Business Practices aim to improve the internal standard of individual and group conduct. They also aim to improve external factors such as sustainable economic strategies. These practices help create creditability because a business that is driven by moral values and ethics is respected in the society. Professional ethics play a major role in uniting people and leadership because it brings the decision makers and employees on a common platform. Ethics improve decision making. The decisions made are driven by values so the organisation becomes fierce in its operations and gains a competitive advantage.

Ethical Hackers are computer and network experts who find and fix computer security vulnerabilities. These people are hired to attempt to break in into computer systems by employing the same tools and techniques used by intruders to investigate the security gaps and vulnerabilities without damaging the systems. Ethical hackers should be completely trustworthy because they might come across information while they are testing which should remain secrets.

Ethical principles and theories enhance the experiences of people in IT and highlight the relevance of ethics to people in IT.

Author: Thulani Motha
Edited by: Kim Vova
“General Ethical Foundation” Online. Accessed February 17, 2002.
“Ethical Principles.” Online. Accessed February 17, 2002.,%20Ethical%20Principles.htm
Ruth Chadwick (1998). Professional Ethics. In E. Craig (Ed), Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy. London: Routledge.Retrieved October 20, 2006, from