AbstractThe emergence of computers marked a new error full of a wide range of technological advancements. Computers changed the way we work and do things. However, the emergence of computers introduced a challenge which is termed as computing ethics. The negative aspects of computing ethics have been witnessed in various parts of the world e.g. through hacking of computer systems. In this paper, I will talk about the ethical issues or concerns related with computer use. To achieve this, I will think about the perspectives of two academic sources found in the Ashford library and additionally the view from the course reading. At long last I will offer my own perspective based upon the examination of the readings as it identifies with moral issues in the usage of the computers.
Ethical Concerns in Computing
As Computers turn into the core of our daily lives, an ever increasing number of people are using the computers to execute a wide range of activities. Alongside the increased use of computers, it is important to mention that much responsibility is required by the normal computer user in an attempt to evade any form of computer use violations. Each community has its standards about whether certain activities are moral or not. These rules which govern whether something is morally good or bad are usually set by a mutual agreement between the members of the community and they can be documented as laws. This same situation applies in computers in that there are things that can be perceived as being ethically good or bad. With the purpose of completing this paper, I will talk about a portion of the ethical issues or concerns related with computer use. To bring you down that way, I will think about the perspectives of two academic sources found the Ashford library and additionally the view from the course reading. At long last I will offer my own perspective based upon the examination of the readings as it identifies with moral issues in the usage of the computers.
The invention of computers has presented us with the opportunity to do things in a different was buy choosing the appropriate course of action to take. However, despite the fact that computers have made things simple there are challenges which face most of the computer users. The challenge is basically on the ethical issues regarding the usage of computers. There are various virtues as far as ethical issues in computers is concerned. These are such as responsibility, confidentiality, knowing what is wrong and what is right, honesty and accountability. Apart from this virtues, there are other critical aspects regarding ethical issues in the use of computers. This are such as; privacy, intellectual property or freedom of speech (Bowles, 2013). Different people do differ in their opinions on how these ethical issues can be handled with most of them suggesting that ethical issues deserve dialog, regulations and consequences. As a PC client, I am completely mindful of my obligations and I realize that it’s dependent upon me to play it safe to secure my data and information while utilizing the computer or any form of internet connection to browse. As beforehand mentioned, ethical issues mainly focus on knowing what is good or being aware of the right and wrong way of acting when handling computers. There are various people who have no issue with taking your personal information such as passwords to have access to your private logins in this manner abusing your security. Consider the burglary of your Master card data, bank information and passwords, the mix of those things can be disastrous to a person. Alongside individual moral infringement Bowles additionally explained on the moral issue of intellectual property. According to Bowles, intellectual property refers to any form of work which is as a result of the creative nature of our brains. It can be in form of an invention, an artistic work, a design, a symbol etc. An ethical issue is said to arise when such kind of intellectual property is stolen or taken away from the original owner without permission. Take for instance a situation where, a design does store his designing work in his computer. An ethical issue is said to exist in a situation when an authorized person steals the designs from the computer without the concept of the designer.
On a different article, Sue Conger and Karen D. Loch (2000) on their article “Invitation to a Public Debate on Ethical Computer Use” they offer a wide range of definitions regarding what ethical issue in computer is. They have stated three components which they strongly believe contributes to what is defined as ethical issues in computers. According to Sue Conger and Karen D. Loch (2000), “At their core, computer ethical issues are about ownership, responsibility, personal privacy, and access”. They went further to elaborate on each component by saying that, the ownership issues “concern the rights to intellectual, physical, and meta resources. Intellectual property is a new concept for many countries where traditionally artistic creations were not the property of their creator”. Their analysis of intellectual property is similar to what has been proposed by Bowles (2013). Several governments have enacted laws to prevent the unlawful transfer of intellectual property from one individual to another while there are some governments which have freely allowed the sharing of ancient intellectual property as a sign of honor. However, the main question still remains on whether computer resources such as time, software, hardware and networks should be categorized under intellectual property. Responsibility issues according to Sue Conger and Karen D. Loch (2000), it deals with determining who is responsible for completeness and accuracy of work products while personal privacy majorly focuses on issues such as collection, usage, access and accuracy of information. They have provided a wide range of unethical computer use practices which can be categorized as unethical computer issues. These are such as; Electronic thieves enter computers and steal millions of dollars’ worth of software, customer files, and competitive information. Internet stalking is increasing, as are other forms of electronic harassment such as bombarding e-mail boxes with advertising or meaningless messages. These are a few of the visible forms of potentially unethical computer use.
In a different article, Brian R. Hall (2014) in his article “A Synthesized Definition of Computer Ethics”, he has used works from different authors in order to come up with a comprehensive definition of computer ethics. He suggests that the field of computing ethics is complicated but plays a vital role to the computing community as well as the global society. Brian R. Hall (2014) however notes that, there has been less research and education in the field of computing ethics due to the wide range of definition of computing ethics available. To clarify his argument, he has used several sentiments used by computing ethics scholars to synthesize a comprehensive meaning of computing ethics. He suggests that, computing morals alludes to the interdisciplinary and community oriented endeavors of researchers and experts to systematically deliberate and for all intents and purposes influence the commitments and expenses of figuring antiquities in worldwide society
In my personal view, computing ethics as described by Brian R. Hall (2014), it is field which has not been fully addressed yet it plays a vital role in the computing society globally. The three authors have addressed the topic using different approaches but have substantially made it clear. For instance, according to Sue Conger and Karen D. Loch (2000) and Bowles (2013) Sue Conger and Karen D. Loch (2000) there are different ways in which computing ethical issues exist. This is in form of intellectual property, responsibility issues and personal privacy. I side with Sue Conger and Karen D. Loch (2000) in their article when they propose that, anyone engaging in computing unethical issues should be faced with the necessary consequences.
In conclusion, ethical issues mainly focus on knowing what is good or being aware of the right and wrong way of acting when handling computers. Computing ethics is a field which has not been fully addressed yet it plays a vital role in the computing society globally. The authors of the two articles agree on the fact that unethical issues in computers should be addressed early enough before they become an extremely big problem.
- Bowles, M. D. (2013). Introduction to digital literacy [Electronic version]. Retrieved from https://content.ashford.edu/
- Conger, S., & Loch, K. D. (2000). Invitation to a public debate on ethical computer use. ACM SIGMIS Database, 32(1), 58. Retrieved from http://dl.acm.org.proxy-library.ashford.edu/ft_gateway.cfm?id=506747&ftid=74540&dwn=1&#URLTOKEN
- Hall, B. R. (2014). A synthesized definition of computer ethics. ACM SIGCAS Computers and Society, 44(3), 21-35. Retrieved from http://proxy-library.ashford.edu/login?url=http://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=2684102&CFID=722685320&CFTOKEN=17978999