Ethics are defined as moral principles that govern a person’s behavior or conduct of a certain activity. Our ethics influence the way we interact with others and the world around us. While we all have our personal beliefs regarding ethics, employees are expected to follow those established by employers and businesses. Some businesses have a code of conduct to help ensure that others can trust and rely on how a service is performed.
Ethics in information technology (IT) has gained significant attention in recent years. Technology is almost everywhere, and most people depend on it in their personal and professional lives. Information technology plays a vital role in storing, using, and transferring information across various computer systems. Individuals rely on IT in crucial industries such as healthcare, banking, education, and more. It is important to understand why ethics are important in information technology.
Ethics and Information Technology
For individuals interested in an IT-related career, it is valuable to understand the role ethics plays in this industry. There are different types of ethics to consider, defined and outlined by both individuals and public policy. These decisions can influence key components of IT, such as risk management, privacy rights, and the collection and security of private information for various industries and institutions.
Technology is growing at an ever-evolving rate. For those entering the field of IT, there should be an understanding that we may reach a point where the ability to control technology will drastically diminish. That is why constant monitoring and adjusting are key to help ensure that technology will follow fair practice standards and remain guided by established ethics.
IT and Business Industries
Business industries typically rely heavily on IT to reach their goals, remain competitive, and provide the services and care that consumers demand. As IT continues to grow in prominence, the pressure to maintain ethical standards and practices increases significantly. In the healthcare industry, IT is relied upon to relay vital information across departments that can affect a person’s health and treatment. Technology is also used to share patient records that need to remain secured such as billing information, and other sensitive documentation. With IT taking over many of the data operations of this industry, ethics are an essential part of protecting and maintaining this information properly.
Keeping the “Human” in Technology
Part of ethics in information technology is keeping the human aspect of the technology in place. Human values and attitudes are used to help ensure that the systems we rely on can be maintained, and continue to provide beneficial, useful gains to meet our needs.
As information technology shifts and grows, it is key for IT to be based on trust, responsibility, integrity, and respect. While IT allows us to be more connected than ever, protected levels of privacy and confidentiality continue to be important. By keeping ethics in IT, we can effectively reduce the risk of dishonesty and breaks of security.
Moral Challenges in Information Technology
Ethics are a standard that helps to ensure people behave honestly. We want the same for our information technology. We expect our technology to work for us, not against us. IT continues to be developed, monitored, and utilized in a way that relies on a foundation of ethics. Personal information should not be contaminated or used for any means that are negative or hurtful. As the power of technology grows, ethics within that technology has to grow with it to help ensure individuals and businesses that rely on IT are protected.
Data management and privacy are one of the biggest challenges faced by those in the IT field. Ethics in IT helps to ensure that these challenges are taken seriously and dealt with constantly to help ensure protection and reliability. This involves various aspects of information, such as the way it is created, organized, removed, and allowed access to.
Reliance on Ethics and IT
Many individuals don’t give a second thought to their daily reliance on IT. Our information is almost everywhere, from our names, addresses, social security numbers, health records, and more. We have learned to trust different IT systems to maintain and protect that information, largely relying on the ethical assumption of human rights and protection. As our dependence on technology grows, so does our need to understand the role ethics has to play.
The McCann School of Business and Technology provides a technology program designed to instruct individuals interested in IT and other key technology fields. We can help you further explore some of the top challenges facing the industry today and the part you can play in overcoming these challenges. Enroll in our IT Support Specialist program to kick-start your education in this constantly evolving and ever-growing field.