Computers and the world of information technology are advancing quickly in this generation. Moor in his 1985 article “What is Computer Ethics? ” stated that, “Computers provide us with new capabilities and these in turn give us new choices for action”. Hence, arguments about privacy and ethics in computer technology arise. With the birth on computers there “was concern right away that computers would be used inappropriately to the detriment of society”(Herold, 2006).
I believe that the good is outweighing the bad when it comes to computers.I also believe there is a degree of user Alana Northrop states in her paper that, “Computerized search systems have been one of the most widely deployed management science technologies in the fight against crime”(1993). Police officers use computers in their cars now. The computers gives them access to information on citizens and also has the ability to give them directions to where they want to go. Everybody benefits from the use of GPS. At some point everyone has used Google Maps and perhaps even Google Street View to find an address.But is Street View seen as an invasion of privacy? Or is it just another stride in computer and information advancement? I believe the way people use computers and information play a big role in the social benefits.
People and corporations alike use computers and information as a tool for more information or for leverage. What users do not often understand is that “they also have a responsibility to consider the ramifications of their actions and to behave accordingly”(Herold, 2006).Software piracy and plagiarism are examples of what happens when computer users decide to ignore ethics and use the computer and information for their own personal gains and/or pleasure. Hackers believe that it’s acceptable to do anything with a computer as long as the purpose is to learn. This utilitarian way of thinking, that anything is ok as long as it is for the greater good (Beauchamp, Bowie, Arnold, 2009), contributes to harming the social good. Hacking, piracy, plagiarism; these are the things happen because of how a person decided to use information.The information in and of itself is not harming the social good.
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That being said; the benefits of computers and the information they gather and store will always outweigh the harming of the social good. If you look at how far mankind has come with the help of computers and information technology, you will find evidence of this. Hospital records and now easier to access and store. Credit reports no longer takes weeks to obtain. We could go on and on with examples of how computers benefit society. I’m not sure that there is a way to effectively embrace computers while preventing the harm of the social good.With good things come the bad.
We just need to accept that. Laws and regulations are in place to help minimize damage to the social good but even those have their limits. It really leans heavily on the moral character of the people that live in today’s world. Yes, without computers we wouldn’t have these issues. But we do have them and they mostly make our lives easier and simpler and I would say the trade-off is fair. References: Beauchamp, T. L.
, Bowie, N. , & Arnold, D. (2009). Ethical Theory and Business, (8th ed. ).Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson/Prentice Hall. Herold, R.
(2006). Introduction to computer ethics. Retrieved from http://www. infosectoday. com/Articles/Intro_Computer_Ethics. htm Moor, J. (1985).
What is computer ethics?. Metaphilosophy, 16(4), 266. Northrup, A. (1993). Police use of computers. Informally published manuscript, Center for Research on Information Technology and Organizations, University of California- Irvine, Irvine, California. , Available from Escholarship.
org. (qt71x0h7hb)Retrieved from http://escholarship. org/uc/item/71x0h7hb
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