Ethical & Social Issues

Ethical & Social Issues
Opportunities of many benefits
Source of abuses
• Direct & indirect care of the aged community
– Australian government
– Improve quality of life
• Feel more in touch
– Internet
• Grocery
• Bill payment
• The “smart house” initiative
– Passive infrared detectors
– Door entry systems
– Emergency pendants
– Bed and chair sensors
• Privacy issues
– Being monitored 24/7
– Awareness, consent, ownership, and access of
• Culture competent
– Interface (English only???)
• Feel comfortable with computers
– Knowledge and skills
4.1 Understanding ethical and social issues
related to systems
4.2 Ethics in a information society
4.3 The moral dimensions of information
4.1 Understanding Ethical & Social Issues
Failed Ethical Judgment by managers
Lehman Brothers
Conceal bad investments
Misstate earning via illegal accounting scheme
Merrill Lynch
Assisting Enron
Fat Cats
Big bonus while business collapsing,
Bankers or CEOs
were not masterminded by information systems,
Information systems were instrumental
• Ethics
– Principles of right or wrong
– Individuals use
free moral agents
• to make choices
• to guide their behaviors
• Info systems raise new ethical questions for
– Individuals
• Improve efficiency
• Cause many to lose jobs
– Societies
• Empowered citizen to better manage public issues
• Enable criminals to commit crime much easier
– Computerized telemarketing scams
Ethical, Social, and Political issues
Five Moral Dimensions of the info age
• Profiling
Advance of data analysis
– Combine data from multiple sources
Credit cards purchases
Telephone calls
Magazine subscriptions
Video rentals ……
– Create electronic files of detailed info on
NonObvious Relationship Awareness
Watch Lists
4.2 Ethics in an Info Society
• Basic concepts
Features & guidelines of ethical choices
– Responsibility
• Individual
• Accept the potential costs, duties, and obligations for
the decisions you made.
– Accountability
• System & social institute
• Mechanisms to determine who took responsible action,
who is responsible.
– Liability
• Law
• Permit individuals to recover the damage done to them
by other actors
– Due process
• Law-governed societies
• An ability to appeal to higher authorities to ensure that
the laws are applied correctly
– Ex: Anti-trust disputes.
• Ethical Analysis
1. Identify and describe clearly the fact.
Who did what to whom, and when, where, and how.
2. Define the conflict or dilemma and identify the
higher-order values involved.
Freedom of speech, privacy, …
3. Identify the stakeholders
Who has interests in the outcomes
4. Identify the options that you can reasonably take.
None of the options may satisfy all the interests
5. Identify the potential consequences of your
Options may work in one instance but not in other
similar instance.
• Candidate ethical principles
Guidelines used for making decisions & judgments
– Golden rule
Do unto others as you would have them do unto you
– Categorical imperative
If an action is not right for everyone to take, it is not
right for anyone.
Ex: Fossil fuel consumption vs. clean energy
• Descartes’ rule of change
– If an action can not be taken repeatedly, it is not
right to take at all.
– The slippery-slope rule
• An action might bring about a small change now
– Acceptable
• If it is repeated
– It would bring unacceptable changes in the long run.
ex: Cyber bullies, zero tolerance
– Utilitarian principle
• Take the action that achieves the higher or greater
• Ex. Allow employees to use instant messages or not.
– Risk aversion principle
• Take the action that produces the least harm or the
least potential cost.
• Ex. Ban employee to install programs into office
– No free lunch rule
• Assume that virtually all tangible or intangible objects
are owned by someone else
• unless there is a specific declaration otherwise.
• Professional codes of conduct
– Professional
• Groups of people take on special rights and obligations
because of their special claims to knowledge, wisdom,
and respect
– American Medical Association
– Codes of ethics
• Promises by professions to regulate themselves in the
general interest of society
• Some real-world ethical dilemmas
– Voice recognition software
• Reduce the size of workforce.
– Monitor employee’s Internet activities
• Prevent from wasting company resources on
nonbusiness activities.
• Ex. Gmail
– Pet project from google’s employee.
4.3 Moral Dimensions of IS
Information Rights
Property Rights
Accountability, liability, and control
System quality
Quality of life
• Information Rights: Privacy and Freedom
– Privacy
• The claim of individuals to be left alone
– Free from surveillance or interference from
other individuals or
organizations, including the state.
• Privacy issue in handling personal info
– Credit reporting
– Education
– Financial records
– Health care
Information technology and systems
makes invasion of privacy cheap, profitable, and
• Fair Information Practices (FIP)
– Notice/awareness (core principle)
• Disclose information practices before collecting data
– Choice/consent (core principle)
• Allow consumers to choose how their info will be used
– Access/participation
• Consumers should be able to review and contest the
accuracy and completeness of the data collected
– Security
• Protect consumers’ info from unauthorized use.
– Enforcement
• Mechanism to enforce FIP.
• Internet challenges to privacy
– Monitoring and tracking website visitors
• Occur in the background without the visitors’
• Software available to “watch” online shoppers’
• Help organizations better target their offerings
• Identify website’s visitors
– Visitors voluntarily register
• Make purchases
• Obtain free services
– Cookies
• Tiny file
resides on
hard drive
– Spyware
• Secretly install itself on an Internet user’s computer
– Piggybacking on larger applications
Send banner ads
Unsolicitated material
Report user’s movements on the internet
Log user’s keystrokes
– Gmail
• Scan user’s email to place keywords related ads
• Options of informed consent
– Opt-out
• Permit the collection of personal info
• Until the consumer specifically requests that the data
not be collected
• Default to U.S.
– Opt-in
• Prohibited from collecting any personal info
• Unless the consumer specifically take action to approve
• Default to E.U.
• Technical solutions
– Platform for Privacy Preference (P3P)
Protect user’s privacy during interaction with websites
• Standard for communicating
– Website’s privacy policy
– Policy to the users’ preference
– Other standard
» FTC’s new FIP
» European Directive on Data Protection
Information Rights
Property Rights
Accountability, liability, and control
System quality
Quality of life
• Property Rights: Intellectual Property
– Intellectual Property (IP)
• Intangible property created by individuals or
– Trade secrets
– Copyright
– patent
– Trade secrets
• Any intellectual work product
A formula
Compilation of data
Provided it is not based on info in the public domain
• Protect the actual idea in the work product
– Nondisclosure agreement between employees and customers
– Prevent the secret falling into the public domain
• Microsoft sued Google over Kai-Fu Lee
– Copyright
• Protect IP from being copied by others
– Life of the author + 70 years after death
– Corporation: 95 years after creation
• Encourage creativity & authorship
• Protect the manifestation in a work
– Underlying ideas behind a work are not protected
– Apple sued Microsoft
• on the expression of overlapping idea
The expression can be express only in a single way,
therefore is not protected
– Patents
• Grants the owner an exclusive monopoly on the ideas
behind an invention for 20 years
• Determined by patent office and relies on court rulings
– Inventor receives full reward
– Make widespread use of invention
• Challenges to IP rights
– Ease of replication
– Ease of transmission
– Ease of alteration
Internet service provider (ISP) are required to take
down sites of copyright infringers
Information Rights
Property Rights
Accountability, liability, and control
System quality
Quality of life
• Accountability, liability, and control
Who should be responsible for the consequence done by
information technology?
– Software is part of a machine
• Producer of the software is liable for damage
– Software act like a book
Storing and displaying info
• Not liable for its content
Software is more a service than a book
Information Rights
Property Rights
Accountability, liability, and control
System quality
Quality of life
• System quality: data quality and system error
Accountability for unintentional consequences of system
– Perfect system quality is not economically feasible
• No one can afford the product
– Avoidable and foreseeable errors
• Publisher is liable
– Sources of poor systems performance
• Software bugs and errors
• Hardware or facility failure
• Poor input data quality
– The most common source of business system failure
Information Rights
Property Rights
Accountability, liability, and control
System quality
Quality of life
• Quality of life: equity, access, and boundaries
Social consequences of systems use
– Balancing power: center versus periphery
• Centralized mainframe computers
– Centralized power
» Corporations
» Governments
• Decentralized computing
– Empowerment of workers
– Decision making to lower organization level
– Rapidity of change: reduced response time to
• Information systems help create
– Much more efficient market
– Reduce the normal social buffers for business to adjust to
• Business was wiped out quickly
• Jobs were wipe out with business
– Due to insufficient time for response to competition
– Maintaining boundaries: family, work, and leisure
Separation work from family has been weakened
• Ubiquitous computing
• Telecommuting
• “do anything anywhere” computing environment
The work umbrella now extends far beyond the eighthour day
Leisure time spent on the computer takes people away
from their family
– Dependence and vulnerability
• If information systems fails, it will cripple
Private association
• Redundancy
• Computer crime and abuse
Technology create new opportunity to commit crime
– Computer crime
• Commission of illegal acts thru the use of a computer or
against a computer system
– Destroy a computer file
– Stealing computer’s list
– Illegal gaining access
– Computer abuse
• Commission of acts involving computer
– Consider unethical
– May not be illegal
• Spam
– Junk emails
– Accounts for 70% of Internet email traffic worldwide
– Email addresses may be harvested by software robots
» Message board
» Chat room
» website
• Employment: trickle-down technology and
reengineering job loss
– Reengineering
• is typically hailed in business world
• Potentially cause jobs loss
– Jobs loss
• Relieve bright, well educated workers to fast-growth
• Drive unskilled, blue-collar, older workers into jobless
• Equity & access: Increasing racial and social
class cleavages
Equal opportunities to participate in the digital age
– Digital divide
• Ethnic and social class line
• Income group
• Health risks: RSI, CVS, and Technostress
– Repetitive stress injury
• Mouse clicking
• Keyboard
– Carpal tunnel syndrome
– RSI is avoidable
• Ergonomically designed equipments
– Computer vision syndrome
• Headache
• Blurred vision
• Dry and irritated eyes
– Technostress
• Working continuously with computers
– Expect other humans to behave like computers
» Instant responses
» Attentiveness
» Absence of emotion
Hostility toward human
Interactive session
– 組織
• 監控工作場所
• 頁 167
– 技術
• 技術過多
• 頁 172