The 21st century is marked by the development of information technology (IT) and the emergence of IT-related technologies. The growth of the internet as a platform for development, coupled with advances in technology has resulted in a slew of ethical dilemmas from individual and organizational levels.
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Subsequently, organizations have been compelled to ensure a balance between freedom and privacy of employees while at the same time ensuring that they observe ethical standards associated with emerging technologies such as cloud computing. However, the rapid growth of technology has resulted in multiple ethical challenges.
Consequently, there are constant conflicts between personal and organizational beliefs in the workplace which has resulted in new ethical dilemmas created by emerging technologies as noted by Baase (2012). As a matter of fact, as new technology gives room for technological activities to be performed in new ways, circumstances may emerge in which adequate policies lack to guide us.
The current paper is an attempt to explore emerging IT-related technology and the related ethical issues. The ethical dilemma under research is privacy and confidentiality on the application of emerging technology such as online retailing or e-commerce. Large amount of consumer data is often given out to commercial entities to be stored for future use.
As such, the collection of these cookies into the companies’ database is akin to revealing consumers’ private information. These systems are risky because when the information is released to third parties, it may be considered as risky as it creates an ethical dilemma (Moor, 2005). For example, the exposure of personal information to third parties as a result of data collection via cookies in the process of e-commerce results in ethical ramifications such as undermining of the first amendment and privacy rights (Baase, 2012).
This is because the information is collected without the consent of the consumers. The issue of security also emerges since when personal information is left on the internet or e-commerce sites it could be accessed by a third party and this is a form of infringement on personal privacy and confidentiality.
Based on the analysis, the ethical question that emerges is; which information and data should be collected by online retailers and to what extent should the information be exposed? (Gilroy, 2012). This has created policy vacuums as it is not covered by the existing ethical policies (Moor, 2001).
To counter this, there is need to replace the vacuum created by emerging information technology with good policies which can be sustained by reasonable justification. The need to safeguard the first amendment and privacy rights while carrying out computer transmissions such as online purchases is also important. Moreover, the mushrooming of massive data on the internet needs to be safeguarded to prevent it being exposed to third parties such as hackers or government spies.
In conclusion, ethical issues are deemed to increase as technology advances thus creating ethical dilemmas. For instance, the adoption of e-commerce in the 21st century has resulted in compromised ethical issues such as the issue of privacy and confidentiality.
Therefore, there is need to develop stringent policies which address these ethical issues as they emerge. This way, the policy vacuums created will be eliminated thus addressing new technological ethical dilemmas.
Baase, S. (2012). A gift of fire: social, legal, and ethical issues for computing technology. (4th edn). Japan: Pearson.
Gilroy, W. G. (2012). Emerging ethical dilemmas in science and technology. Science Daily. Web.
Moor, J. H. (2001). The future of computer ethics: You ain’t seen nothin’ yet!. Ethics and Information Technology, 3(2), 89–91.
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Moor, J. H. (2005). Why we need better ethics for emerging technologies. Ethics and Information Technology, 7, 111–119.