According to Benn(1998), ethics define aspects which are essential to human welfare and proposes standards to guide in creating an ethical culture. Ethics may also be used to define specific standards, values, rules which people adopt in conducting their lives. Generally ethics is the study of the behavior of humans and the consequences with respect to what is superlatively possible.
The emergence of the internet has brought along various ethical issues leading to formulation of cyber ethics. Cyber ethics involves the use of proper and ethical behaviors and acknowledging moral obligations and duties which pertain to digital media and the internet environment. With the increased use of internet a number ethical questions have merged including; is displaying personal information about other individuals good? Should persons be protected from fabricated information? Who owns digital data and to what extent should users use it? Lastly, is the internet a fundamental right to everyone?
These questions have led to growing concerns on the security and integrity of information, the lawful status of online activities, confidentiality and privacy of information, intellectual property rights and the safety of online government data. In the efforts to address such concerns, governments have developed guidelines to secure the current computing technologies from exploitations (Dudley, Braman & Vincenti, 2012). For example, the replication of digital media through piracy has been defined as unethical and is being controlled by code of conducts. The term unethical is used to define any activity which is seen to be conflicting with the accepted standards or principles of professional or social behavior.
Benn, P. (1998). Ethics. London, UK: UCL Press.
Dudley, A., Braman, J., & Vincenti, G. (2012). Investigating cyber law and cyber ethics: Issues, impacts and practices. Hershey, PA: Information Science Reference.