Ethics and Technology
Ethics and technology can be a “slippery slope” according to ethical issues for IT security professionals. There is so much power within technology and the ability to manipulate a system and not have a conscience could be pretty scary in my book. Ethics is knowing what is right and what is wrong. Code of ethics is something that is from within that person and one can only determine that on its own.
There is the Ten Commandments of Computer Ethics that is pretty enlightening. The first commandment actually states, “Don’t use computers to hurt others” (Whitman & Mattford, 2010, p. 467) and while there are ten, most being pretty obvious, there are a few that might make one think differently. “Thou Shalt Think About The Social Consequences Of The Program You Are Writing Or The System You Are Designing” was completely fitting for this discussion (Computer, N.d) and follow this to a “T”.
However, who determines what? What is unethical in someone else’s eyes? Are there different definitions? The following is a code of ethics list that I follow. It is a great guide and can be found under “Computer Ethics Institute”:
“1. Thou Shalt Not Use A Computer To Harm Other People.
2. Thou Shalt Not Interfere With Other People’s Computer Work.
3. Thou Shalt Not Snoop Around In Other People’s Computer Files.
4. Thou Shalt Not Use A Computer To Steal.
5. Thou Shalt Not Use A Computer To Bear False Witness.
6. Thou Shalt Not Copy Or Use Proprietary Software For Which You have Not Paid.
7. Thou Shalt Not Use Other People’s Computer Resources Without Authorization Or Proper Compensation.
8. Thou Shalt Not Appropriate Other People’s Intellectual Output.
9. Thou Shalt Think About The Social Consequences Of The Program You Are Writing Or The System You Are Designing.
10. Thou Shalt Always Use A Computer In Ways That Insure Consideration And Respect For Your Fellow Humans” (Computer, N.d.).
One must have their own personal beliefs and should not go outside of those boundaries if suggested. Any company I work with, or the ones that would employee me, would have the same ethical beliefs. Not all organizations are perfect and things do happen but I would not work for an organization that would have me feel the need “to make personal compromises”.
Everyone could potentially come across some type of ethical decision, but, one must first have some type of ethical belief to go by