In relation to the case analysis of the Small Matter of Privacy, computer ethics is a key concern to many stakeholders, especially Information technology specialists. Computer ethics refers to the analysis of the nature and effects of computing technology and the measures to promote ethical practices by information technology professionals. A computer ethical problem arises due to a policy vacuum in the way the computing technology is used. An important way of examining ethical crisis in the Small Matter of Privacy is to examine its effects on major stakeholders and their reactions towards the computing devices. These include the benefits, harms, and rights violated by computing technology. Various ethical situation faces individuals as well as the wider society. Thus, formulation of computer ethical policies should involve the whole society rather than individual segments of the society. If the case involves actions of the information technology professionals, systematic application of ethical principles should relate to the provisions of the professional code of ethics. These measures will provide guidance in filling the policy vacuum that faces information technology professionals.
The paper seeks to explain ethical principles in relation to computing technology in the analysis of a Small Matter of Privacy case study. The paper will exploit the parties affected as well as the risks and harms caused. In particular, the paper will show how various events affects Jimmy Small as highlighted in the case study. It will exploit the potential benefits and harmful effects of computer ethics to the parties affected. The paper will provide the events and facts that are relevant in computer ethics to guide in decision making in reference to the Small Matter of Privacy case. Also, the paper will examine the unethical and risky behaviors that contribute to computer ethics problem. The risky and unethical policies that need to be changed will be adequately described as well as the alternative policies in computing ethics. To aid in decision making, the paper will offer the recommendations that I suppose are relevant in making of computing policies.
Advantages of events and Facts relevant in computer ethics
The situations and facts that relate to computer ethics in the Small Matter of Privacy case include facilitating information reach, enabling global education and facilitation of the provision of information. In the Small Matter of privacy case, the individuals and groups that benefit from these events include the Micham Medical Center clinicians, doctors, mid wives and the physiotherapist. Clinicians can directly process patient information electronically on a wide range of computer network. Administrators can pass clinical information into the electronic patient records from several sources simultaneously. Also, Jimmy Small and his family are likely to benefit from the expanded health services and efficiency associated with the use of computers. Rich networks of computing devices have enabled each individual to acquire information on medical services, employment opportunities and other life necessities. Also, the growth in computing technology has facilitated the provision of education across the globe for the poor and the rich. For the first time, everyone on the globe can access free press, texts and documents, as well as art works from great libraries and destinations. The rapid growth in technology has promoted the conduct of international business exchanges boosting the economic growth of all nations. Through global information ethics, through internet linkages, efforts have been made to advance and defend human values in the global networks (Van den Hoven 38). Cooperation has been enhanced through international exchanges, which has promoted the activities of human rights groups. These activities promote ethical principles to al individuals irrespective of race, gender of color. Ethical principles for information communication professionals promote moral values and judgments in computing, based on professional standards in the computing environments. The professional ethics are relevant in enhancing good practice in computing applications and ensuring that all the benefits of the computing technology flow to all the stakeholders.
Harms and risks to stakeholders
In relation to the Small Matter of Privacy case analysis, the stakeholders affected by privacy issues include company’s management, doctors and patients. For example, Jimmy Small faces the risk of poor diagnosis if the medical practitioners at the Micham Medical Center do not adhere to computer ethics (Van den Hoven 35). These harms and risks caused to the stakeholders in computing technology include rising incidences of confidentiality. Jimmy Small private data with the company may leak to others if not properly controlled which may lead to loss of privacy. Also, other parties such as administrators of the medical center face the risk of cybercrime. These include unauthorized access to the hospitals records through hacking of passwords. Privacy issues are a major concern to the users of internet and other web based applications. Many companies and individuals have lost their funds through cybercrime. Perpetrators of cybercrime use sophisticated knowledge in information technology to defraud individuals by hacking their accounts. The rise in this unethical problem has been facilitated by the increased use of computer devices in many aspects of financial applications including money transfer (Introna 260).In relation to the small matter of privacy case loss of funds may occur through manipulation of figures on charges made on the patient bills. In such circumstances, the perpetrators get access to the accounts information, which poses risk of loss of important data through deletion. The perpetrators benefits from these unethical practices to the detriment of the victim companies and individuals. The perpetrators can also steal the firm’s trade secrets and use it to foster unnecessary competition without the knowledge of the firm’s management.
Unethical and risky behavior of persons in computer ethical crisis of the Small Matter of Privacy Case Analysis
The unethical and risky behaviors exhibited by individuals in computer ethical crisis include, reduced performance of daily activities, physical aggression and social seclusion. The individuals and groups who are mostly affected by these harms and risks are the Hospital management. These unethical behaviors lead to problems such as stress and depression. Lack of awareness on computer ethics and associated risks leads the individual to exercise behaviors that compromise their morality (Crump 201). In particular, addicts of pornographic movies lives in isolation and are vulnerable to irresponsible sexual practices that lead to unwanted pregnancies and diseases. Verbal aggressiveness especially the youths have been facilitated by the imitation of behaviors from movies from the internet and the low levels of social interaction. Instances of physical assault especially among the youth have been witnessed as a result of the influence of internet information sources. Other risky behaviors include too much time spent on online applications and isolation. Too many teenagers are spending their time glued on computer screens which raises concerns over visibility and other health Issues. When a teenager spends much of his time online, he separates himself from other peers, which reduce his social relations skills. When such cases occur, the individual becomes aggressive towards other family members and becomes a source of family conflict.
Unethical policies that should be changed in Future
The unethical policies in computer in the Small Matter of Privacy case include those that facilitate violation of privacy and propagate cybercrimes. Privacy should be maintained without limiting individual’s accessibility to the computer files. For example, the passage of information to the hospital administration for the generation of patient report records is unethical. Also, Computer policies that hinder maximum utilization of computing services should be evaluated to take advantage of emerging new applications. These policies include limitations on the use of computing services in the private sector (Kim, Lance, and Dianne 78). Also, the hindrances placed upon computer usage by patents and copyrights should be revised to ensure that they do not promote excessive protection that hinders new innovation. Also, limitations on authorized accessibility to computer devices should be lifted to ensure that the society enjoys full advantages of computing services.
To promote ethical principles in the Small Matter of Privacy case, I would recommend various measures. These include creation of awareness to the patients as well as the doctors and clinicians on issues regarding ethical principles in computing resources. This will foster literacy and providing secure services. Also, the personnel at the Micham Medical Center should be involved in collaborative research in the global context to train, equip and develop measures to curb incidences of unethical practices in computing technology (Tavani 140). Up to date information technology policies should be promoted to combat cybercrimes and protect against the loss of patient information to outside parties. Also, the management of the hospital should hire the services of information technology specialists to handle all the computer applications. To take advantage of the computing technologies, Information communication technology internal controls should be incorporated in the Small Matter of Privacy to prevent cases of unethical practices.
In summary, the analysis of the Small Matter of Privacy has shown that computer ethics is of key concern to many stakeholders. In relation to the case study, the advantages of computing technology include information sharing, growth in cyber business and facilitation of health service provisions. On the other side, the rise of cybercrimes and loss of confidentiality to individual and companies has been linked to the growth in information technology. The risky behaviors exhibited by victims of computer use include physical and verbal aggressiveness, irresponsible sexual behavioral and isolation. In relation to the rising cases of cybercrimes, computing policies should be evaluated and amended to fill the existing policy vacuums. In addition, policies that hinder maximum use of computing policies should be evaluated to ensure that they are up to date with the current technology. The policies that I recommend to be put in place in the Small Matter of Privacy to prevent cybercrimes include creation of awareness in regard to computer ethics. In addition, Information Technology professionals should be hired and other stakeholders should collaborate in formulating policies in regard to computer ethics.
Crump, Catherine. Data retention: privacy, anonymity, and accountability online. Stanford Law Review (2003): 191-229.
Introna, Lucas D. Privacy and the computer: why we need privacy in the information society. Metaphilosophy.28.3 (1997): 259-275. Retrieved at http:/www.privacy.net
Kim, Anya, Lance J. Hoffman, and C. Dianne Martin. Building privacy into the semantic web: an ontology needed now. proc. of semantic web workshop, Hawaii, USA. 2002. Retrieved at http:/www.privacy.net
Tavani, Herman T. Informational privacy, data mining, and the internet: ethics and information technology 1.2 (1999): 137-145.
Van den Hoven, M. J. Micham Medical Center: The Electronic Information Center at http:www.epic.org 27 (1997): 33-37.