Task:Proceed according to the following instructions.
Identify a recent (within the last six (6) months) ethical dilemma or ethically questionable situation relating to ICT that you are familiar with. This situation can be either in the media (for example one you have sourced from a newspaper, or online through social media) or through your workplace.
Identify the key ethical issues contained in your chosen case and use the three distinct perspectives of applied ethics including professional, philosophical, sociological/descriptive ethics to analyse the ethical issues involved in the case. The word limit should be between 1400-1500 words. Note: Headings, citations, references and any appendices do not count towards your word limit, but quotations do. At the start of the assignment indicates in brackets the word count of your assignment excluding those items mentioned above.
Include a Reference list at the end of your work, in the correct APA referencing style, corresponding to in-text citations. You must include at least THREE (3) quality academic references (one for each ethical perspective) from different sources. Please note that these references are in addition to those provided to you through this subject (for example, you still must reference, Tavani textbook, the Interact subject lecture notes etc BUT these references cannot be used as one of your three quality academic references from different sources). Only include references that have been cited in the body of your assignment and ones that support what you have presented in your assignment.
1. Introduction: This information management system Assignment focuses on communication technologies which include the Internet, wireless networks, mobile phones and other communication mediums, which is prevalent in various fields such as military, education, hospitals etc. Its application extends to digitizing that refers to interaction by Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality and Digital Platforms. The article published in the month of July 2018 discusses about a bug which was discovered in U.K. schools’ information management system due to which private information about students such as address and contact number were compromised .
The above information management system Assignment is a pure exemplar of three distinct perspectives of ethics that is professional ethics, philosophical ethics and sociological ethics.
The fault was in the SIMS Software matching routine for new students which resulted in a huge breach of information security (Jay,2018). The crisis could have impacted students on roll, pre-admissions and the records of school leavers as well. However, even though it has been confirmed that the upgraded version of the software has been put into place which would help take care of the bug, still the said issue has given rise to the above mentioned ethical stances majorly. All the three perspective of ethics is described in the said essay which relates the same with the bug that has occurred.
2. Professional Ethics Perspectives: The professional ethics in ICT must hold on to the privacy of the public, enrichment of value of life, proficiency and integrity. It not only supports the above mentioned standards of practice but also confronts immoral exploitation of technology. It also provides latest security enhancements giving administrators the peace of mind that employees are protected from cyber security risks. The bug issue in U.K. schools that are progressively being raised, demands attention and efforts towards resolution. The personal information of the students for instance name, address, telephone number and Email address were allied to wrong contact details (Aynsley,2015). This issue also has an effect on CTF (Common Transfer Files) which is used to transfer student’s information between primary and secondary schools. If names of new students are matched exactly to the previous records then the applicant unwillingly gets linked incorrectly to the person and data gets modified. However, the said issue would not have happened, if the professionals would have checked the software for any kind of errs regularly and also installed the upgraded version well in advance. Therefore, the problem could have been acknowledged and fixed had the SIMS Software been verified at its nascent stage (Bose,2017). An advance version of the information management system will make sure that the issue is been resolved and the breach would not occur again. Thus it ensures that even though an ethical issue has cropped up accidentally, yet it does not deter the professionals to adhere to their professional ethics religiously and responsibly. Thereby, it is clear that ICT professionals should perform their duties by abiding to the various laws ethically and at the same time take a step further to conduct in a manner which would take into consideration any such consequences due to the usage of technology.
3. Philosophical Ethics Perspectives: Moral convictions are subjected to a broad range of philosophical ethics too which refers to what people feel to be right or wrong or that they would explicitly argue to be right or wrong. This field involves regulating, shielding and recommending concept of correct and incorrect behaviour. The fact that philosophy with regards technology has taken into wraps various issues regarding personal ethics. ICT, similar to other technologies has its own benefits and disadvantages to offer. Due to an incremental shift towards ICT, potential discipline for philosophical ethics is becoming a must.
The particular occurrence at U.K. schools lack philosophical ethics. Had the ICT experts been cautious about the software bugs, the same would have been avoided. Though this wasn’t the first time when the privacy of the students was put on risk. A similar incident had occurred in February 2018 wherein the data of the students and staff members of the U.K. schools were leaked. The hacking of the CCTV cameras attacked four schools due to which schools feeds were broadcasted on a US website for public viewing. It was a very disgraceful act. The event should have been an eye opener for all ICT experts, however the same was not the case and again merging of data happened which led to leakage of private data to unknown people (Nicholas & Mugeni,2014).
Although the present leakage of the information of 21000 UK schools was due to the fault of the software and no specific hacking had occurred, yet it attracts ethical issues philosophically since the professionals had failed to detect the incorrect mapping of the data by the software (Hill,2018). The bug has influenced all the users nationally, despite of whether they are locally or centrally hosted. Thus the philosophical ethics clearly states that the experts should review various technologies periodically so as to comprehend whether all is functioning in a right manner or not and take necessary actions. Further, the professionals should have also provided adequate training to the users o the software with regards any kind of unduly performance being conducted by the software. Thus, it can rightly be said that from the philosophical ethics point of view, they fail to regulate and recommend the concept of right or wrong amongst the users.
4. Sociological/Descriptive Ethics Perspectives: Sociological ethics deals with the study of different societies and human interactions and how they impact governments, educators and planners. It works within a specified code of ethics that ensures whether the outcome will benefit the society at large or not. The information management system Assignment explores the volatile growth of ICT and the use of its enabling technologies have had major impacts on society. Cyber crime and non-violation of privacy and allied rights are the major and foremost sociological challenges related to ICT. Further to this, ICT in education has given more significance to sociological ethics, simply because it adds value to teaching and learning, by enhancing the effectiveness and efficiency of learning process. It has a pivotal role to play to address the issue of quality content and the quality of teachers. It facilitates research, mobile learning, inclusive learning and scholarly communication (Flick et.al. 2017).
The error which has been pinned in this article could have resulted in schools sending out details about the students to the wrong address. The exposed personal data can be a huge vulnerability of not only data privacy but it can also put secure systems and critical data at risk which can hamper the society at large. Courtesy the bug, a student or a parent would have access to another student’s data such as their email addresses, contact details and physical addresses as well. Knowing of email addresses is still not as dangerous as knowing the physical addresses and contact details of other pupils (Ictforeducation.co.uk. 2018). The extent of crime has reached to such a level that it becomes difficult to trust as the society therefore would not entertain such a bug wholeheartedly, even though it was a software issue. Sociological ethics plays a crucial role in this case and it is the right of every parent to know whether their data has been a part of the bug or not. But the article clearly states that Capita could not send details about how many students have been impacted and neither any list of students have been extracted. The parents thereby are in a dark and hence unaware of the fact whether their data is secured or not. The said act is against the sociological ethical practices. It is the right of every person who is a part of the society, in this case the school, to know whether their kid’s information is protected and secure or not.
The sociological responsibility is not being conducted properly, which is evident from the fact that such attacks are not one of a kind, but persistent in nature.
Implementation of ICT is a must, which is explicitly evident from the amount of dependency schools have started to have. But for ICT to work successfully and hindrance-free, the technological team or rather companies should keep a track on how their software is performing across various regions, countries and companies. It may seem to be a tedious task but with the augmentation of the usage of ICT, but this information management system Assignment outlines the necessity to increase the issues related to all the three perspectives of ethics.
Aynsley,B. (2015). Ethics essential for ICT professionals. The Weekend Australian. Retrieved from https://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/technology/opinion/ethics-essential-for-ict-professionals/news-story/78307af0586683a61e7a0d537c5f6cf8
Bose,R. (2017). Effectiveness of ICT in Education. Retrieved from https://www.franchiseindia.com/education/Effectiveness-of-ICT-in-Education.10155
Flick,C., Stahl.B.C & Timmermans.J (2017). Ethics of Emerging Information and Communication Technologies: On the implementation of responsible research and innovation. Science and Public Policy.44(3).369-381. Retrieved from https://academic.oup.com/spp/article/44/3/369/2525576
Hill,R. (2018). Capita strikes again: Bug in UK-wide school info management system risks huge data breach. Retrieved from https://www.theregister.co.uk/2018/07/17/capita_strikes_again_software_bug_in_schools_contact_book_risks _huge_data_breach/
Ictforeducation.co.uk. (2018). Capita strikes again: Bug in UK-wide school info management system risks huge data breach. Retrieved from https://www.ictforeducation.co.uk/news/capita-strikes-again-bug-in-uk-wide-school-info-management-system-risks-huge-data-breach.html
Jay,J. (2018). Software bug put personal data of pupils at 21000 UK schools at risk. Retrieved from https://teiss.co.uk/news/uk-schools-privacy-scare/
Nicholas,K.K. & Mugeni,G.B. (2014). Is it time for the Philosophy of ICT? International Journal of Information and Communication Technology Research. 4(8). 299-303. Retrieved from https://www.researchgate.net/publication/266078696_Is_it_time_for_the_Philosophy_of_ICT