In this paper I will discuss how Information technology has brought about significant societal ethical changes. Users of technology in society and business today need to be increasingly aware of the need for the ethical use of technology. Information technology (IT) users, need a code of ethics developed, so that they can navigate through the ethical issues they confront while using information technology. When ethical violations occur, enforcement of the ethical standards is required. With the advanced of online education, there is a renewed need to interpret a code of ethics within the academic setting by observing academic integrity as users have the ability to interact with surprising and continuous amounts of information.
The extensive nature that the society has access to IT today has brought about significant societal ethical changes. The most profound effect is the unbundling of information. Evans and Wuster (as cited by Britz, 2008) defined unbundling is the ability of information to move by itself and the interlinking of documents. Consequently, this has enabled us the ability to reach multiple people at once, almost instantaneously, interact with information and customize and distribute information at almost zero cost. The growth of social media (SM) has had a profound effect on society. Some of these effects are not always positive as witnessed by the London riots of 2011.Social media was blamed by the British government, for inciting and fuelling the riots (Salman, Saad & Ali, 2013).
Kallman and Grillo (as cited by Molnar,2008) stated the order of magnitude effect and the effort effect influence how human beings view the ethical situations involving computers. The order of magnitude effect is due to the fact that computer operate at astronomically speeds compared to humans, while the effort effect is due to the human nature , that if the task is not worth the effort then one will likely not do it.
According to Parker, Swope and Baker, (as cited by Molnar, Kletke, & Chongwatpol, 2008) the lack of face to face interactions while using computers, alters the relationships among people; Property rights ,plagiarism ,piracy and privacy have become active issues; The benefits of information sharing are often in conflict with attempts to protect the integrity of information, confidentiality and availability and IT is exposed to unethical practices due to the lack of widespread means of authorization and authentication.
When the ethics lessons taught by Aristotle and Plato, are applied to the contemporary world of IT, the emergence of new technologies creates new ethical issues that consequently create new ethical dilemmas (Brooks, 2010). Furthermore the author states that current trends suggest that the steps that one goes through, to build a solid moral cornerstone are in jeopardy. Molnar, Kletke and Chongwatpol (2008) cite a 2006 Josephson Institute survey of 36000 high school students, which found that 60% of the students, admitted...