A New Technology Creates New Ethical Dilemmas
New computer technologies for gathering, storing, manipulating, and communicating data are revolutionizing the use and spread of information. Along the way, they are also creating ethical dilemmas. The speed and efficiency of electronic information systems, which include local and global networks, databases, and programs for processing
information, force 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.
The Importance of Ethics in Information Systems
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– thus, making ethical considerations in how information is used is 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.
Ethics Fill the Gap as Legal Decisions Lag Behind Technology
As in other new technological arenas, legal decisions lag behind technical developments. Ethics fill the gap as people negotiate how the use of electronic information should proceed.
Ethical Issues Specific to Electronic Information Systems
The broad issues relating to electronic information systems include control of and access to information, privacy and misuse of data, and international considerations. All of these extend to electronic networks, electronic databases, and, more specifically, to geographic information systems. Specific problems within each of the three areas, however, require slightly different kinds of ethical decisions.
**Research some recent information ethics news stories and share them with the class. What types of issues are arising because of technology? What should be done to address these issues? Please note that you are being asked to do some research…please cite your sources accordingly using in-text citations and APA format for your references at the end of the text.**