Ethical Issues in IT Industry
Ethics is defined as, “the discipline dealing with what is good and bad and with moral duty and obligation.”. In the IT industry where there are no comprehensive standards in place, with the emergence of new technologies, ethical and legal issues are also arising increasing thus demanding more efforts and attention towards policing them and reaching resolutions to prevent any of these issues. Every now and then we see new scandals about ethics and the tech industry, hence it’s very important for a consumer of Information Communication Technology to know of its implications.
The following are some of the most common and pressing issues in the IT industry:
With the vast amount of information being exchanged with the help of IT. Now anybody from any part of the world, at any time can exchange information with others. The large amount of data that has now spread throughout the digital world including private information as well as public information, the risk of that data being accessed by unintended sources is always present. To what extent the data may be disclosed and violation of privacy takes place is a huge concern due to it’s potential.
With the freedom of information exchange through different mediums. Over such data the establishment of ownership is a very difficult task and very hard to control as things can be easily copied and pasted without anyone’s intervention or policing. This makes intellectual property very hard to protect.
Security & Hacking
Security breaches and exploitation of back-doors present in digital systems and networks may allow unauthorised personnel or more accurately known as hackers, to get their hands-on sensitive data such as personal identification information, stolen identities, bank credentials, confidential information or classified govt secrets. Websites can be hacked; malware and spyware can make its way into a user’s computer and gain access to data.
Can system owners be held personally liable when security is compromised? When an organisation holds stewardship of data on external entities–customers, individuals, other organisations–and that data is compromised, to what extent is the victimised corporation liable to the secondary victims, those whose data was stolen? Organisations generally have internal policies for dealing with security breaches, but not many yet have specific policies to address this area. Technology presents us with a whole new set of security challenges. Networks can be breached, personal identification information can be compromised, identities can be stolen and potentially result in personal financial ruin, critical confidential corporate information or classified government secrets can be stolen from online systems, Web sites can be hacked, keystroke loggers can be surreptitiously installed, and a host of others. (It’s interesting to note at this point that statistics still show that more than 80 percent of stolen data is the result of low tech “dumpster diving,” and approximately the same percentage of organisational crime is the result of an inside job.)
Piracy is an act of robbery or criminal violence by ship or boat-borne attackers upon another ship or a coastal area, typically with the goal of stealing cargo and other valuable goods. Those who conduct acts of piracy are called pirates, while the dedicated ships that pirates use are called pirate ships. The illegal use and theft of software and content available through different digital mediums, is also a very serious problem. It is estimated that nearly 50% of all programs on PCs are pirated copies. This is very serious issue for corporations in particular and can significantly damage profit margin.
- Mobile piracy is on the rise; more than 87% of those looking to download music now use their mobile devices to do so.
- More than a third of music consumers still pirate music.
- More than 70,000 jobs per year in the US alone are lost because of the lost revenues that came from music piracy.
- Pirated video material gets over 230 billion views a year.
- More than 80% of global online piracy is attributable to illegal streaming services.
- The global movie industry’s revenue losses from digital piracy are between $40 and $97.1 billion per year.
- More than 50% of torrent and streaming pirates use desktop devices.
- Consumers who make pirate downloads are 28 times more likely to get their device infected with malware.
- Between 2015 and 2017, the software industry lost $46.3 billion to piracy theft.
- Globally, two in five copies of software products in distribution are unpaid.
- 76% of employees would not report the illegal use of software at their company.
Convenience is a key reason for people taking the illegal route when hunting their favorite shows or movies. Most pirates say they don’t really want to visit the best pirate movie sites, but the fragmentation of content across competing streaming services forces them to. If you love both Game of Thrones and The Grand Tour, for example, you’ll need to sign up for multiple services. That’s annoying, but more importantly, it can get expensive.