ICT is pervasive and touches every sphere of human life which can often be unpredictable and risky and hence people need to understand how much leverage people should give to IT in their lives. Not only in people’s personal lives but even in the professional world ICT has become an extremely important aspect. With the increase in the utilization of ICT in the corporate world, ethical issues have crept in. These ethical issues not only affect the operations of an organization but also affect the overall performance of the employees. The common ethical issues of ICT in a workplace are privacy, data security, accuracy, and accessibility of information (van den Hoven et al., 2012). These ethical issues have significantly affected the operations of different organizations, and one such company that has been affected by ethical issues related to ICT is Absus Technology.
Absus technology is a medium-scale IT operation involved mainly in developing websites and applications. Moreover, it focuses on providing all kinds of online marketing solutions. The company has been able to spread its business in different parts of Sydney and also working in Melbourne and Perth. The organisation has a total strength of 95 employees including the designing and developing team. In the recent past, the organization implemented an organizational audit, especially on the data privacy and security section which showed that it hasn’t had expected projects coming in which indicated there might be issues with data security. Data security is one of the major ethical issues attached to Information and Communication Technology. From the audit, it has been assessed that data and leads are going out which might be due to a flaw in the database system or maybe because of an external threat to the system. The analysis of the issue is done with the help of Doing Ethics Technique (Stahl et al., 2012).
Several questions are asked by DET Framework to understand the impact of the ethical issue and they are discussed below:
Fig 1: Doing Ethics Technique (Source: Cotton, 2014)
What’s going on?
The Audit body of Absus Technology has analyzed the overall operations through which it has been found that there has been significant data spillage from the central database of the organization. The audit body assumes that either this has happened due to a flaw in the database which has been used by an individual or an external threat that has helped to sell information from the organizational database. This also questions the commitment and integrity of the employees working in the organization (Cotton, 2014).
What are the facts?
From the audit, it has been found that the database was hacked with a separately bounced IP address that has been consistent in the last few days. There has been evidence that the bounced IP has worked on the database taking a considerable amount of data from the company. From initial interrogation, the audit committee has been able to raise questions on the database administrator as he didn’t take a proper approach to maintaining the security of the database which led to the theft of data.
Ethical and nonethical issues
Who is affected?
The organization Absus technology is majorly affected. Apart from that the employees and the investors attached to the company would be affected as well. In this scenario, the company might have to cut headcounts or shut down operations of a particular division, which would affect the investment and return of the investors (Stahl et al., 2014).
What are ethical issues and implications?
At the present moment, the main ethical issue that the organization faces is data security due to the lack of commitment of the employees working in the database administration section. These employees have been noncaring regarding the proper analysis of threats to the database as well and their unethical behavior towards the operations has already caused significant business loss for the organization. Hence it could be said that loss in data security has been a major issue for the organisation and its implications could further lead to loss of clients constant business loss and procrastination of the expansion program (Zheng & Stahl, 2012).
What can be done about it?
Different steps could be taken to resolve this issue. First of all a complete analysis of the issue will help to identify the felons and accordingly take steps against them to understand the shortcomings of the system. Strong steps will have to be taken to make sure ant further issues with the database don’t happen.
What are the options available?
Doing a complete revamp of the system and implementing a new database with better technology. Recruitment and scanning of the employees working in the database administration section, constant analysis of the incoming data, and online audit of the data transactions (Al-Saggaf & Burmeister, 2013).
Which option is the best- and why?
All the above options suggested are effective to resolve this issue but doing a complete revamp of the system wouldn’t solve the matter alone and it will require efficient and honest employees to handle the database and keep a thorough check on it. It could be said that if the employees are efficient, honest, and committed to the growth and development of the company and show ownership there cannot be any kind of issues in the organization. It might sound like a reactive suggestion. Still, it could be said that going for recruitment of efficient employees in the database administration section and constantly monitoring them would be the best option for the organization Absus Technology as it will help them to not only understand the issues with the database but also the commitment of the employees to fix it up which would reduce data theft possibilities and increase data security (Burmeister et al., 2014).
The organization Absus Technology could amend the option of recruiting reliable and efficient employees to combat the issue of data theft and security. The study highlights the importance of analyzing ethical issues in the workplace as well as suggests recommendations through DET.
Al-Saggaf, Y., & Burmeister, O. K. (2013). A survey of Australian ICT professionals’ perceptions regarding the most common ethical problems they face in the workplace. In Proceedings of the Seventh AICE Conference (pp. 43-48).
Burmeister, O., Al-Saggaf, Y., Schwartz, M., & Johnson, L. (2014). Internet resources to help Australian ICT professionals identify and solve ethical challenges. ACIS.
Stahl, B. C., Eden, G., Jirotka, M., & Coeckelbergh, M. (2014). From computer ethics to responsible research and innovation in ICT: The transition of reference discourses informing ethics-related research in information systems. Information & Management, 51(6), 810-818.
Stahl, B. C., Heersmink, R., Goujon, P., Flick, C., van den Hoven, J., Wakunuma, K., … & Rader, M. (2012). Identifying the ethics of emerging information and communication technologies: an essay on issues, concepts, and method. Ethical Impact of Technological Advancements and Applications in Society, 61-79.
van den Hoven, J., Helbing, D., Pedreschi, D., Domingo-Ferrer, J., Gianotti, F., & Christen, M. (2012). FuturICT—The road towards ethical ICT. The European Physical Journal Special Topics, 214(1), 153-181.Order Now