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Ethical Issues In Information System Essay

1333 words - 5 pages

IntroductionComputer technologies that provide solutions for gathering, sorting, manipulating and communicating data and information have revolutionized every aspect of our lives.Providing better efficiency, unmatched speeds, elimination of geographical barriers and improver communication. This forced people to confront entirely new rights and responsibilities in their use of information and to reconsider standards of conduct shaped before the advent of computers.Information is a source of power and, increasingly, the key to prosperity among those with access to it. Consequently, developments in information systems also involve social and political relationships-- and so make ethical considerations in how information is used all the more important. Electronic systems now reach into all levels of government, into the workplace, and into private lives to such an extent that even people without access to these systems are affected in significant ways by them. New ethical and legal decisions are necessary to balance the needs and rights of everyone.As in other new technological arenas, legal decisions lag behind technical developments. Ethics fill the gap as people negotiate how use of electronic information should proceed. The following notes define the broad ethical issues now being negotiated. Since laws deciding some aspects of these issues have been made, these notes should be read in conjunction with Legal Issues in Electronic Information Systems.Definition of EthicsAfter looking up several online and offline dictionary, we found more than one definition of ethics.Microsoft's Encarta Online Dictionary defines ethics as "a system of moral standards or principles".While Cambridge Online Dictionary define it as "A system of accepted beliefs which control behavior, especially such a system based on morals".We believe that the best definition of ethics is that it's simply "Principles of right and wrong".UNDERSTANDING ETHICAL AND SOCIAL ISSUES RELATED TO SYSTEMSEthics refer to the principle of right and wrong that individuals, acting as free moral agents, can use to make choices to guide their behavior.Information technology and information systems raise new ethical questions for both individuals and societies because they create opportunities for intense social change, and thus threaten existing distributions of power, money, rights, and obligations. Like other technologies, such as steam engines, electricity, telephone, and radio, information technology can be used to achieve social progress, but it can also be used to commit crimes and threaten cherished social values. The development of information technology will produce benefits for many and costs for other. When using information systems it is essential to ask, what is the ethically and socially responsible course of action?FIVE MORAL DIMENSIONS OF THE INFORMATION AGEA review of the literature on ethical, social, and political issues surrounding systems identifies five moral dimensions of the...

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