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  • Published on: 7th September 2019
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Ethics in Computing 1

Introduction 1

Professionalism 2

Competency 3

Software 3

Hardware 4

Legal Framework 4

Invasion of privacy 4

The 10 commandments of ethics in IS 4

Summary 5

Ethics in Computing

In this assignment I will describe the major issues with ethics in computing

The paper will focus, but not exclusively, on:

' Professionalism

' Competency

' Morality

' Copying

' Employer

' Educational establishment

' Software

' Hardware

' Legal frameworks on it

' Etc.


First of all let's talk about what is Ethics. The term ethics derives from the Ancient Greek word ' ethikos, which is derived from the word ' ethos (habit, "custom").

Moral principles that govern a person's behaviour or the conducting of an activity: as given in the Oxford English Dictionary.

To have Ethics in your workplace is morally and legally obligatory. Such a statement reminds me of a story I was told.

A man was in his work on his computer looking at pornographic imagery. A woman had passed his computer and seen such graphic images. She was taken back by what she had seen. She proceeded to go home for the day. The next day she got in touch with her solicitor. She had then put in a claim against her company. The person that was looking at the imagery immediately admitted to looking at the images. He was immediately fired in disciplinary actions. The man then got in touch with his own solicitor. He then too put in a claim for unfair dismissal as there was no usage guidelines or banned content from the computers.

This would failure in ethics from a professional view in management for not having blocks on certain criteria of website or a terms and conditions of use of internet. Or guidelines for usage not pointed out to all staff.


In every workplace there is a level of professionalism expected form all employees. These has also to be a competence to complete their job to the fullest of their abilities and with a professional attitude.

If this is not achieved employers have to be sure that adequate training was given to the employee and that he/she is being given every chance to work to the fullest of his or her ability.



Employees need to show a high level of competency when working in the IT world. With guidelines and rules for ethics and legal reasons. All employees must keep up to date with all rules one usage and permissions of IS hardware and software, if hardware is damaged or misused there can be problems. Same with software copying or usage.

Also be sure that you have permission for copying or taking any software home. I know of a company that will remain nameless that fired an employee because of him taking pictures of log files and releasing information of such software online. He had signed a nondisclosure contract which he was in breach of by taking such actions.

This person hadn't the competency to fulfil his contract obligations or the ethical morals to be trusted with such information. This is why he was released from his contract.

Virtue Ethics is the belief that ethics should be more concerned with the character of the moral agent (virtue), rather than focusing on a set of rules dictating right and wrong actions, as in the cases of deontology and utilitarianism, or a focus on social context, such as is seen with Social Contract ethics. Although concern for virtue appears in several philosophical traditions, in the West the roots of the tradition lie in the work of Plato and Aristotle, and even today the tradition's key concepts derive from ancient Greek philosophy.


Computers have a central and growing role in commerce, industry, government, medicine, education, entertainment and society at large. Software engineers are those who contribute by direct participation or by teaching, to the analysis, specification, design, development, certification, maintenance and testing of software systems. Because of their roles in developing software systems, software engineers have significant opportunities to do well or cause harm, to enable others to do well or cause harm, or to influence others to do well or cause harm. To ensure, as much as possible, that their efforts will be used for good, software engineers must commit themselves to making software engineering a beneficial and respected profession. In accordance with that commitment, software engineers shall adhere to the following Code of Ethics and Professional Practice.

Copying data or use of licences for software unknown or uncited by the licence owner. Also use of software for personal use without permission from owner is theft. Also using software created by you for a company is their software and you sharing it with anyone else even after you left the company through termination or you own choice. Software can be taken home by certain users when given permission.

If software is stolen or used in a workplace it's this should be reported immediately.

In 1988, Robert Hauptman, a librarian at St. Cloud University, came up with "information ethics," a term that was used to describe the storage, production, access and dissemination of information. Near the same time, the Computer Matching and Privacy Act was adopted and this act restricted United States government programs identifying debtor.


Hardware such as phones laptops and blackberries should all have some type of encryption coding on it also when outside USB keys are added to one of your companies laptops they are instantly encrypted and so not usable on other devices.

Laptops with valuable data are expected to be encrypted mobile phones are not. Onsite computers are also not encrypted but passwords are should be changed every 3 months and no older passwords can be used.

If laptops are lost or stolen there should be procedures in place such as'

Data Delete

Data delete, part of in Sync's data loss prevention capabilities, meets NSA security standards and protects lost or stolen devices from data breach. Time-based alerts and policies can be setup to decommission a device that does not connect to the server for a pre-set period or to classify a missing device as being 'On Alert'.

Remote Delete & Decommission

Within Synchronisation, the data can be remotely deleted from lost or stolen devices. Once activated through the Web-based management console, decommission commences as soon as the device comes online. The console enables administrators to easily see how many endpoints are set up to be decommissioned and how many have completed decommissioning.

Auto Delete & Decommission

With Sync it allows you to configure a time-based auto delete trigger for each enabled device, so that the device can be decommissioned if it does not connect with the in Sync server for a specified number of days. If needed, auto decommission can be disabled.

Time-based Alerts

Configurable time-based alerts provide notifications if a device has not backed up for a pre-set number of hours or days, and it allows categorization of a device to 'On Alert' status. Depending on how the alerts are configured, a remote decommission can be initiated, or data delete on a specific device can be put on hold.

These are the changes we will implement onto your network for better data security and safer more reliable backups.

Legal Framework

Always make sure you read your contract carefully before signing it. Something as small as taking your work home with you can get you in some serious trouble. Be sure that all documentation had been cleared and that everything is encrypted or safe in some manner. It has happened in the past that a employee of a high end company used a public rest room. This individual left that laptop behind with customer information such as bank details, names, phone numbers and everything someone with the right knowledge could take advantage of. Luckily the c

ompany was smart enough to have an encryption code on this laptop.

For example of a breach of ethics was Mark Zuckerberg against the Winklevoss brothers with the rights to Facebook. The brother claimed that Mark stole their idea and used it to create The Facebook. Marks argument was that he did not use any of their code that his idea was completely different. He said that if you were going to create Facebook you would have.

This ended in with a payoff and a nondisclosure agreement put in place. With this no the brothers had to  

As a "universal tool" that can, in principle, perform almost any task, computers obviously pose a threat to jobs. Although they occasionally need repair, computers don't require sleep, they don't get tired, they don't go home ill or take time off for rest and relaxation. At the same time, computers are often far more efficient than humans in performing many tasks. Therefore, economic incentives to replace humans with computerized devices are very high. Indeed, in the industrialized world many workers already have been replaced by computerized devices -- bank tellers, auto workers, telephone operators, typists, graphic artists, security guards, assembly-line workers, and on and on. In addition, even professionals like medical doctors, lawyers, teachers, accountants and psychologists are finding that computers can perform many of their traditional professional duties quite effectively.

The employment outlook, however, is not all bad. Consider, for example, the fact that the computer industry already has generated a wide variety of new jobs: hardware engineers, software engineers, systems analysts, webmasters, information technology teachers, computer sales clerks, and so on. Thus it appears that, in the short run, computer-generated unemployment will be an important social problem; but in the long run, information technology will create many more jobs than it eliminates.

Invasion of privacy

Privacy in the workplace is one of the more troubling personal and professional issues of our time. But privacy cannot be adequately addressed without considering a basic foundation of ethics. We cannot reach a meaningful normative conclusion about workplace privacy rights and obligations without a fundamental and common understanding of the ethical basis of justice and a thorough understanding of individual and organizational concerns and motivations.

Individual views of appropriate bases for assessing the ethical nature of acts and consequences vary widely. If I were to ask any one of you for a definition of ethics, some of you may agree with that definition, while others may completely disagree or want to enhance it. For me, the concept of perception is critical for ethical assessment, since perception plays such a paramount role in framing issues. Our ethical decisions are influenced by our own perception of ourselves, by others' perception of our actions, and by our perception of "universal laws." Our final choices are determined by the perception that has the greatest impact or weight at the time.

For example, perhaps you have a certain hat that you love to wear, and it is simply the ugliest hat in the world. But it keeps you warm; and you're just going to wear it. You don't care what anyone thinks. You don't care if people stare at you walking down the block. All you care about is that you are comfortable. Your perception is all that matters. This same circumstance might exist for you in connection with an ethical dilemma.

Sometimes you believe so strongly in what you think that, even if the entire universe believes what you are doing is wrong, you will go ahead and do it because you believe it is right. I assume you can imagine a few situations where the only opinion that concerns you is your own. You are following your own values. It is your particular perception that defines what is ethical.

If you check your email in work from private account or not, once you have opened  his within your job all messages read or sent on your employers equipment is now open for them to read and record on their servers. This is not counted as invasion of privacy as you have done this on their equipment unknowingly or not.

 Your employer does not have permission to change or alter such accounts in any way. But employers would have no interest in your personal life unless there were legal issues that involved them especially and it would also put your ethical morality into question.

Below is a guideline of Ethics on IS.

The 10 commandments of ethics in IS

1. You shall not use a computer to harm other people.

2. You shall not interfere with other people's computer work.

3. You shall not snoop around in other people's computer files.

4. You shall not use a computer to steal.

5. You shall not use a computer to bear false witness.

6. You shall not copy or use proprietary software for which you have not paid (without permission).

7. You shall not use other people's computer resources without authorization or proper compensation.

8. You shall not appropriate other people's intellectual output.

9. You shall think about the social consequences of the program you are writing or the system you are designing.

10. You shall always use a computer in ways that ensure consideration and respect for your fellow humans.


What we have learned and discussed in this assignment is different cases where competency, professionalism and morality have not been used in the past and how guidelines have been used to stop events like that happening again. We have seen how dismissal can be given so quickly for ignorant actions caused breaching of contracts. I have learned that attention must be given to all aspects of contracts and that professionalism should be used in work at all times.  I hope you enjoy this assignment.

Thank you for taking the time to read through.

Name: Shane Murdock


Lauden & Lauden. Management Information Systems 9th edition

O'Brien J. Marakas G. Management Information Systems 10th edition

Hayes P. (2016). Ethics in Computing. [Business Information Systems]

The Social Network ( 2010) Directed by David Fincher [Distributed by Columbia Pictures]

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