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“ Ethics is knowing the difference between what you have the right to do and what is right to do ” – Potter Stewart
Ethics and equity and the principles of justice do not change with the calendar.
Technology ethics is an application of ethical thinking to the practical concerns of technology. The reason technology ethics is growing in prominence is that new technologies give us more power to act, which means that we have to make choices we didn’t have to make before.
Tech ethics are principles that can be used to govern technology including factors like risk management and individual rights. They are used to understand and resolve Moral issues that have to do with the development and application of technology of different types.
Now we need to understand, what are the Ethical issues in technology?
Ethical issues of technology –
- Personal privacy: It is an important aspect of ethical issues in information technology. Due to the distribution of the network on a large scale, data or information takes place which leads to the hidden chances of disclosing information and violating the privacy of any individual or a group.
- Access right: It is the second main aspect of ethical issues. Access rights have become a high-priority issue for IT and cyberspace with the great advancement in technology. The intrusion detection system is used to determine whether the user is an intruder or an appropriate user.
- Copyright: Copyright law works as a very powerful legal tool in protecting computer software, both before a security breach and surely after a security breach. In many countries, copyright legalization is amended to provide explicit laws to protect computer programs.
- Harmful actions: Harmful actions in computer ethics refer to the damage or negative consequences for the IT such as loss of important information, loss of property or loss of ownership, etc. Typically it consists of intentional destruction or alteration of files and programs which cause a serious loss of resources.
- Liability: One should be aware of the liability issue in making ethical decisions. Programmers or retailers possess the right to determine the express warranties. All agreements should be in writing to protect against liability.
- Piracy: Piracy is an activity in which the creation of an illegal copy of the software is prepared or made. As laws made for copyright protection are evolving, also legislation that would stop unauthorized duplication of software is in consideration.
When we think about ethical issues we do not usually think about technology. The subject of technology ethics or the Ethical implications of technology poses an ethical dilemma on producers and consumers.
There are many types of technology ethics :
- Environment: how to produce technology that wouldn’t harm the environment.
- Digital rights: protecting intellectual property rights and privacy rights.
- Accountability: decisions made for who is responsible when considering success or harm in technology advancements.
- Existential risk: technologies that represent a threat to the global quality of life.
- Access rights: access to empowering technology as a right.
- Over automation: when does automation decrease quality of life and start affecting society.
- Human judgment: when can decisions be judged by automation and when do they acquire a reasonable human?
- Privacy: protection of privacy rights.
- Freedom: technology that is used to control a society raising questions related to freedom and independence.
- Human enhancement: human genetic engineering and human-machine integration.
- Health and safety: health and safety risks that are increased and imposed by technologies.
Why is Technology Ethics important?
This is a world that is not ruled by money, it’s ruled by data. Without ethics, a field that is so fast-paced would mean disaster if put into the wrong hands.
” Technology is not just a tool. It can give learners a voice that they may not have had before ” – George Couros
Every new technological invention has got both positive and negative impacts on society. In an ideal world, moral and legal action may mean the same, but they are not the same in the real world.
Many acts that would be widely condemned as unethical are not prohibited by law and vice versa.
The internet provides us all the useful information within seconds at our fingertips but at the same time suffers from cyber Terrorism, illegal uploading, downloading, copying, misuse of information, and intellectual property.
Currently, the whole world is going through a pandemic which is why they use of technology has risen in our schools, colleges, offices, and throughout society.
Hence taking care of the ethics of technology has become the need of the hour.
The teachers or instructors must be aware of the importance of technology ethics because schools can play a vital role in helping the children understand the values or the policies or the issues of the rapidly growing and changing information technology-dependent world.
The integration trend of modern information technology in the process of education could not be avoided.
So we can say that the technical matters only as a tool in your choices unless those choices involve how to design or use the technology on others.
Ethics are important to persons wherever they are and whatever job they are doing with tools and technology.