Question 1: Cyberethics as applied ethics
Cyberethics generally is the study of ethical, legitimate, and social aspects surrounding cyber technology. Various ethical issues are widely expected in the field of IT and use of computing machines. This Cyberethics is assumed to be part of applied ethics. This is because cyber ethics analyses concrete ethical issues and concentrates in surveying a particular moral problem relating to use of cybertechnology. This term is far much bigger than the internet ethics since it’s not restricted to use of internet. It’s on wider perspective that it utilizes wide scale of computing and communication expedients. It is also much bigger than the specialized ethics relating to computer experts, since its concerns both the essential assets of technology and how it’s being utilized. The term cyberethics as oppose to computer ethics, is the best fitted word to refer to the ethical vacuum in the use of computing technologies and computing experts. Its specifically relates to computer systems, making it the exact term more than internet ethics.
Cyber ethics covers all the use of computing devices no matter the place or surroundings or circumstance exposed to in order to use these devices. It’s a wide spectrum and does not exclude the individual computers at homes or the stand alone computers. Cyberethics can be said to be the special, and its main aspects of covering ethical measures have been clearly identified. Cyber ethics we can say is an applied study, for example, when a murder case has been done using cyber technology, then its specifically a murder not anything else. Another example is when a theft has been committed with the aid of cybertechnology, it’s clearly a theft case. This is a modern way of executing acts within the ethical vacuum that exist. This vacuum creates an ethical problem and needs to be filled with ethical solutions that aids in positive utilization of this uniqueness of technology. Its unique because of its speed, the volume is so appealing; it’s multifaceted and full of substance (Bailey, 2008).
Question two: Ethical theory and its functions
Ethical theory can be defined as a branch of philosophy that tries to understand, interpret and even guide the practice of morality (Waluchow, 2003). An ethical theory therefore provides a set of related ideas that explains how humans should live. Since ethics is an intellectual discipline that helps in answering the questions on how to live, then the purpose of ethics is to answer this question. In a more specific way, we can say that the mere purpose of ethical theories is to is to help people live successfully with other people. This is because many people want the question on how to live answered as they want to live well and their lives to be praiseworthy. Humans believe that they have only one life to live and due to this, they always struggle to make the best of it (Birsch, 2013). If this is to happen, they must live successfully with other people that they interact with. Living well also leads us to where one must have successfully decided on what to do during difficult moments and situations that one has faced. This therefore leads us to another important function of ethical theories, helping one resolve difficult situations or moral problems. As humans are faces with various moral issues that might be hard to resolve, ethics should help in providing solutions to such issues. Ethical theories provide ethical procedures that can be used to sole specific ethical and moral problems. In addition to the ethical procedures that an individual should follow, ethical theories offer reasons as to why such procedures are recommended in solving certain problems.
Question 3: Strengths and weaknesses of the Australian Computer Society Code of Ethics
The codes inspire members to behave ethically. Every profession requires its members to behave in an ethical way. The code of ethics helps members of this profession with ways that they should carry themselves in their profession, thus helping them behave in an ethical manner.
The code of ethics also helps in guiding the members in ethical choices. Sometimes professionals are faced with difficult situations that they might find hard to make choices or decisions about. The code of ethics provides them with basic procedures on how to make the right choices and decisions, or even the right decisions that they are supposed to make.
The code of ethics also helps to inform the public about the nature and roles of the profession. Not everyone in the public is fully aware of the computer society profession; that is what they do and how they do it. The code of ethics helps in providing clear explanations to the general public on this profession, thus enabling them grasp what the profession is all about.
It also helps in giving the members information about their obligations. As much as every has its own obligations, the members of the computer society have their own obligations; obligations towards their customers, their fellow workers, their employees among many other stakeholders. This code of ethics helps in educating them about their obligations towards all the parties’ that they deal with.
Finally, the code of ethics helps in enhancing the profession in the eyes of the public. When the public is aware of the code of ethics, it helps in assuring them that the members of this profession conduct themselves in a manner that is acceptable. It helps in gaining more respect from the public in that they know they can trust the members in this profession to do their work in the accepted manner.
The codes are usually ineffective in disciplinary matters. They provide rules and ways through which professionals should carry themselves and how they can make decisions; but it fails to identify measures that will be taken against the professions that break the code of ethics. Even when the measures to be taken are identified, it is very hard to see these disciplinary measures taken into action.
The codes do not help people distinguish between macro- ethics issues and macro- ethics issues. Some ethics deal with the micro- environment of the professional and other deal with the macro- environment of the professionals. The code of ethics does not explain the different codes that should be applied in each of these environments.
Question 4: Can professional codes guide IT professionals in determining when it would be appropriate to blow the whistle?
Yes, professional codes guide IT professionals in determining when it is right to blow the whistle. According to Norman Bowie (1982), whistle blowing is the act through which an employee informs the public about the immoral and illegal behavior of an employee or supervisor. Legislation has been enacted at both federal and state levels to protect employees who go public on certain kinds of information. However, these laws vary according to each state; the variation depends on the amount and kind of protection offered to whistle blowers. The codes in computing profession provide solutions to their members on when they are faced with whistle-blowing dilemma. One obligation is that the members should express their concerns to the people involved when significant violations of the codes are detected, unless it impossible, dangerous or counterproductive. The members should also report violations of these codes to the appropriate authorities when it is clear consultation with the people involved is dangerous, impossible or counterproductive. The codes allow these professional to blow the whistle when they are sure the harm that will be done to the public by the products is serious and considerable. They should also blow the whistle when the employees have made their concern known to the superiors and finally, when the employees have received no satisfaction from their immediate supervisor and they have exhausted the immediate channels available within the organization, including the board of governors. However, when blowing the whistle, the employee must ensure that they have documented evidence that would convince people that his/her of the situation is correct and the company policy is wrong. The employee must also ensure that blowing the whistle will prevent the threatened serious harm.
Question 5: Evaluate the concepts of Value Sensitive Design methodology
Values in designs have welcomed quite a high vast of interest and contest aimed at addressing the issue. Value sensitive design methodology contributes a lot to righteous and considerate tenets in the design of evidence and mainframe systems. Values need to be upheld by various technological designs. Such designs have to be engaged on a trade offs in various competing values while designing. These values also do compete during implementation, and its final use of the systems. For example, such competing values include independence vs. safety, secrecy vs. trust. There are other various issues relating to value design methodology such as the right to privacy and non-moral values, which of these aesthetic preferences should be greater than the other? Conflict exists but equal measures should be taken into account in order to have sophisticated measures that will trump weak ones hence avoiding any conflict. Trust is a value that needs to be carefully utilized by the people who are exposed to other people through the use of computer devices. People do think that trusting others won’t bring any harm to them in their lives through the use of the online systems, yet it’s a risky venture since anything bad can happen to them, hence people need to asses carefully against all that can happen and make a judgment before initiating any move (Basta, 2012).
In order to have the value sensitive design methodology has to execute various analyses to substantiate the surrounding equivalence. First, benefits and dangers of this value design needs to be compared to corresponding values such as incursion of a person secrecy being plotted onto the value of privacy. The other aspect is carrying an investigation on important values. This ensures that adequate concepts are used to define and match a value. Value conflicts may exist hence it’s also important to identify such threats of value conflict. This is important since some values may have a direct effect or hindrance on the other values that needs to be implemented in the various system designs.
Bailey, D. (2008). Cyber ethics. New York: Rosen Central.
Basta, C. (2012). Ethics, design and planning of the built environment. Dordrecht: Springer.
Birsch, D. (2013). Introduction to Ethical Theories A Procedural Approach. Long Groove:
Bowie, N. E. (1982). Business ethics. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall.
Waluchow, W. J. (2003). The dimensions of ethics: an introduction to ethical theory.
Peterborough, Ont.: Broadview Press.