Everyone has the right to privacy. Ethics is a branch of philosophy which seeks to address questions about morality; that is, about concepts such as good and bad. Some common issues of computer ethics include Intellectual property rights, privacy concerns, and how computers affect society. One problem is that many domains are being bought and sold to the highest bidder. Personal information has become more important in transacting business, and it’s available to many people and organization.
The apparent solution to the lack of privacy on the internet is a technique known as encryption. In political discourse, the term “privacy” has been used to refer to physical privacy in the home or office, the ability to make personal reproductive decisions without interference from government, freedom from surveillance, or the ability to keep electronic communications and personal information confidential. Everyone has the right to privacy. Do you? It all depends on whom you ask and who wants to know.
Jot down all the numbers that are used to describe you; start with these: social security number, street address and postal code, driver’s license ID number, telephone number, e-mail account and fax numbers, banks account numbers and personal identification number for banking machines, credit card account number, health insurance number, medical records numbers at your doctor’s and dentist’s office and any clinic or hospital you’ve ever visited. And that’s just the beginning.
Ethics is a branch of philosophy which seeks to address questions about morality; that is, about concepts such as good and bad, the noble and the ignoble, right and wrong, etc Ethics is a set of moral principles that govern the behavior of a group or individual. Therefore, computer ethics is set of moral principles that are the use of computing. Some common issues of computer ethics include Intellectual property rights, privacy concerns, and how computers affect society. One problem is that many domains are being bought and sold to the highest bidder.
For example, recently many people are purposely buying up company names and selling them to those companies at incredible prices. There has been a virtual explosion of methods for collecting, storing, sharing-even stealing- personal information about you. Personal information has become more important in transacting business, and it’s available to many people and organization. They can look at it when it’s time to evaluate you for a credit card, auto loan, life insurance, an apartment or mortgage, even a job! New technologies are providing us with a new range of opportunities.
Everything is available to us from our homes: we can do research in libraries; we can do our shopping and banking through the television or the computer; we can watch a recent feature film by dialing up the “pay per view” channel; and we can even join conversation on the internet. There is, however, a downside to the information society. Every purchase you make using a credit card, every phone call you make and every e-mail message you send and leaves digital trail. This trail can be picked up by sophisticated computers (which can access information about your lifestyle, your consumer choices, and you credit rating).
There is a pervasive sense that personal privacy is under siege from range of technological, commercial, and social threats. In 1995, Ekos Research Associates Inc. released a survey of 3,000 Canadian households called Privacy Revealed: The Canadian Privacy Survey. The survey results showed that 92 percent of Canadians felt at least “moderate” levels of concern about personal privacy, while 52 percent expressed “extreme” concern. There is a pervasive sense that personal privacy is under siege from a wide range of technological, commercial, and social threats.
You may be amazed to learn how much information of you is on file at places like your state’s Department of MotorVehicles and social Security Administration. In addition, cookie is a very small text file placed on your hard drive by a Web Page server. It is essentially your identification card, and cannot be executed as code or deliver viruses. It is uniquely yours and can only be read by the server that gave it to you so; cookies tell the server that you returned to the Web page. The apparent solution to the lack of privacy on the internet is a technique nown as encryption. Encryption is the conversion of data that cannot be easily understood by unauthorized people. The use of encryption is old as the art of communication. To read an encrypted file, you must have access to a secret key or password that enables you to decrypt it, that’s called Clipper chip. The Clipper chip used a mathematical formula known as the SLAOJACK algorithm; Proponents argued that the Clipper chip would thwart hackers and that wiretapping was often vital to convicting a criminal.
Key to any discussion of privacy is a clear specification of what is at stake (what is being kept private) and the parties against which privacy is being invoked (who should not be privy to the information being kept private). For example, one notion of privacy involves confidentiality or secrecy of some specific information, such as preventing disclosure of an individual’s library records to the government or to one’s employer or parents.
A second notion of privacy involves anonymity, as reflected in, for example, the unattributed publication of an article or an unattributable chat room discussion that is critical of the government or of an employer, or an unidentified financial contribution to an organization or a political campaign. Companies can share you files with other businesses that may want to contact you. In Canada, there is a high level of protection for personal information held by the government but there is practically no security for information help by the private industry (except in Quebec).
Privacy policies are formulated in response to problems in the management of access to information about persons or their effects, or to images or impressions of people as may be derived from the analysis of data. But many factors affect the information of policy. Anyone who has a need to know about your credit history can check your credit file. That’s why it is so important to be sure it is accurate and up to date. If you have been turned down for credit, you can get a free copy of your credit report by writing Equifax. If you send them a request with proper identification, you should receive a copy of your credit report within ten days
It is easy to make assumptions about privacy. It is much more difficult to know where the limits of privacy begin and where they end in the age of information. Some companies have policies that limit the number of people who can look at your files. In general, it has to be a person who has a specific and important reason. A computer file on you can be made by every company you do business with, or any company that wants to do business with you. Companies can share your files with other businesses that may want to contact you.
Encryption is the most effective way to achieve data security. Anyone who has a need to know about your credit history can check your credit file. Never give anyone information unless you know why they want it and what they plan to do with it. In the mid 1940s, innovative developments in science and philosophy led to the creation of a new branch of ethics that would later be called “computer ethics” or “information ethics”. The founder of this new philosophical field was the American scholar Norbert Wiener, a professor of mathematics and engineering at MIT.
During the Second World War, together with colleagues in America and Great Britain, Wiener helped to develop electronic computers and other new and powerful information technologies. Even while the War was raging, Wiener foresaw enormous social and ethical implications of cybernetics combined with electronic computers. In 1976, nearly three decades after the publication of Wiener’s book Cybernetics, Walter Maner noticed that the ethical questions and problems considered in his Medical Ethics course at Old Dominion University often became more complicated or significantly altered when computers got involved.
He concluded that there should be a new branch of applied ethics similar to already existing fields like medical ethics and business ethics; and he decided to name the proposed new field “computer ethics”. Walter Maner first coined the term “computer ethic” in the mid 1970s, but only since the 1990s has it started being integrated into professional development programs in academic settings. The conceptual foundations of computer ethics are investigated by information ethics, a branch of philosophical ethics established by Luciano Floridi. Computer ethics is a very important topic in computer applications.
Need of computer ethics • The growth of the WWW has created several novel legal issues • The existence of new questions that older laws cannot answer • Traditional laws are outdated/anachronistic in this world • A more coherent body of law is needed to govern Internet and computers Ethics, in the classical sense, refers to the rules and standards governing the conduct of an individual with others. As technology and computers became more and more a part of our everyday lives, we must understand that the problems that have always plagued business and conduct will continue to be a problem.
In fact, a new medium can provide even more difficult questions of judgement. In other words, since the introduction of the World Wide Web, the definition of ethics has evolved, too. A new type of ethics known as computer ethics has emerged. Computer ethics is concerned with standards of conduct as they pertain to computers. The Ten Commandments of Computer Ethics 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 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 use or copy software for which you have not paid. 7. Thou shalt not use other people’s computer resources without authorization. 8. Thou shalt not appropriate other people’s intellectual output. 9. Thou shalt think about the social consequences of the program you write. 10. Thou shalt use a computer in ways that show consideration and respect. The Ten Commandments of Computer Ethics were created in 1992 by the Computer Ethics Institute. The commandments were introduced in the paper “In Pursuit of a ‘Ten Commandments’ for Computer Ethics” by Ramon C.
Barquin as a means to create “a set of standards to guide and instruct people in the ethical use of computers. ” Examples of ethical dilemmas 1- Disclosure versus personal gain. 2- Misrepresentation of level of knowledge. 3- Confidence and safety. 4- Unauthorized copying of software. 5- Conflict of interest. 6- Privacy. All ethical decisions are ultimately personal. Even if an individual follows a code of conduct, or seeks advice, they have to make a choice about following the code or from whom to seek advice. They cannot avoid making the decision either directly or indirectly. It is ot possible to decide objectively how moral dilemmas should be resolved: each individual has to make his or her own choice knowing that others might decide differently. I want to take a look at a couple more issue in regards to web ethics. Knowing that you have privacy while viewing the Internet for your own purpose is a safety net that most individuals need. While searching the web most people take for granted that they are not the only ones using the Internet ethically. When it comes right down to it, the people who have no “computer ethics” as to say is higher than we would like to imagine.
Identity theft is growing and people are having a hard time protecting themselves from it. “Even though privacy is one of the top concerns among Internet users, few webs sites today actually have privacy policies or provide users with information about privacy practices. This makes it almost impossible for users to make informed decisions about their on-line activities. ” (Electronic) Internet scams has increases since 9-11 and almost makes people hesitant towards donating money because they have this un-secure feeling that this money they are donating, isn’t going where it should be.
Hurricane Katrina is a good reference for Internet scams. During this time, scamming through the internet increased dangerously and because of this, the government lost billions of dollars to individuals who decided to take another’s loss to benefit themselves. There were three types of scams that CNN were warning people about during this time. Those three scams were phishing scams viruses and Trojans and fee based scams. (Christine) These scams were drawing individuals in and taking their money to benefit themselves. Child based pornography is an unethical issues that is rising in the United States.
New technology is allowing individuals to generate computer images of children as characters. Currently there is no law saying this type of porn is illegal. Computer use is allowing for individuals to create “virtual reality child pornography”(virtual) which can’t be any more ethical than real life child pornography. Those who think that creating “cartoon” type child porn is okay and ethical are completely wrong. Viewing child porn is in my words, disgusting, unethical and just wrong. The government knows this is going on and yet they have done nothing to prevent it or make it illegal.
In conclusion, computer ethics is a growing problem in the United States weather it is concerning identity theft, scams or child pornography. Although people want to be able to trust others and believe that the web-site they are on is secure, people need to start realizing that there are unethical people who try to take advantage of you. Ethics is something that you learn, not everybody is ethical and as much as you would like to put your full trust in a cause, you need to learn to protect yourself. You never know when somebody is monitoring your activity or hacking into your computer.
Being prepared is something that will benefit you in the long run. References: Computer Ethics. (1999). Introduction to Computer Ethics. Retrieved July 23, 1999, from http://library. thinkquest. org/26658/cgi-bin/1-1. cgi Michael A. Covington. (1997). Ethics on the internet. Retrieved September, 1997, from http://www. ai. uga. edu/~mc/ethics. html Equifax. (2010). Privacy in the information age. Retrieved 2010, from http://learn. equifax. com/identity-theft/privacy-protection Questia Online Search. (n. d). Information collected. Retrived July 20, 2006, from http://www. questia. com/questia/privacyPolicy Nbrigham. (2005). Why privacy matters.