· Differentiate between responsibility,accountability, and liability.
Answer: Responsibilityis a key element of ethical actions. Responsibility means that you accept thepotential costs, duties, and obligations for the decisions you make. Wheneverresponsibility is defined it appears to be in relation to accountability. Thissuggests the two are synonyms, but this is not the case.
At most basic level,responsibility means to be responsible for an act one undertakes, whileaccountability simply means to be called to account.Accountability is a feature of systems and socialinstitutions. It means that mechanisms are in place to determine who tookresponsible action.Liability is a feature of political systems inwhich a body of laws is in place that permits individuals to recover thedamages done to them by other actors, systems, or organizations.
2. What specific principles for conduct can be used to guide ethicaldecisions?· List anddescribe the five steps in an ethical analysis.Answer: The five steps in an ethical analysis are as follows:i.
Identify and describe clearly the factsii. Define the conflict or dilemma and identify the higher-order valuesinvolvediii. Identify the stakeholdersiv. Identify the options that you can reasonably takev. Identify the potential consequences of your optionsThedescription of five steps in an ethical analysis are as follows:i.Identify and describe clearly the facts:Find out who did what to whom,and where, when, and how. In many instances, you will be surprised at theerrors in the initially reported facts, and often you will find that simplygetting thefacts straight helps define the solution.
ii. Define the conflict or dilemma and identifythe higher-order values involved:Ethical, social, and politicalissues always reference higher values. The parties to a dispute all claim to bepursuing higher values (e.g.
, freedom, privacy, protection of property, and thefree enterprise system). Typically, an ethical issue involves dilemma: twodiametrically opposed courses of action that support worthwhile values.iii.
Identify the stakeholders:Everyethical, social, and political issue has stakeholders: players in the game whohave an interest in the outcome, who have invested in the situation, andusually who have vocal opinions.iv. Identify the options that you can reasonablytake:None of the optionssatisfy all the interests involved, but that some options do a better job thanothers.
Sometimes arriving at a good or ethical solution may not always bebalancing of consequences to stakeholders.v. Identify the potential consequences of youroptions:Some options may beethically correct but disastrous from other points of view. Other options maywork in one instance but not in other similar instances.· Identifyand describe six ethical principles.Answer: The six ethical principles are as follows:i. Golden Rule:Do unto others as youwould have them do unto you.ii.
Immanuel Kant’s Categorical Imperative:If an action is not right for everyone to take, it is not right foranyone.iii. Descartes’ Rule of Change:If an action cannot be taken repeatedly, itis not right to take at all. An action may bring about asmall change nowthat is acceptable, but if it is repeated, it would bringunacceptable changesin the long run.iv.
Utilitarian Principle:Take the action that achieves the higher or greater value. Thisrule assumes you can prioritize values in a rank order and understand theconsequences of various courses of action.v. Risk Aversion Principle:Take the action that producesthe least harm or least potential cost.
vi. Ethical “no free lunch” Rule:Assume that virtually alltangible and intangible objects are owned by someone unless there is a specificdeclaration otherwise. If something someone else has created is useful toyou,it has value, and you should assume the creator wants compensation for thiswork.3.Why do contemporaryinformation systems technology and the Internet pose challenges to theprotection of individual privacy and intellectual property?Answer: Fair informationpractices are set of principles governing the collection and use of information.Contemporary data storage and data analysis technology enablescompanies to easily gather personal data about individuals from many differentsources and analyze these data to create detailed electronic profiles aboutindividuals and their behaviors. Data flowing over the Internet can bemonitored at many points.
Cookies and other Web monitoring tools closely trackthe activities of Website visitors. Cookies are tinyfiles downloaded by Web site to visitor’s hard drive to help identify visitor’sbrowser and track visits to site. Not all Web sites have strong privacyprotection policies, and they do not always allow for informed consent regarding the use ofpersonal information. Traditional copyright laws are insufficient to protectagainst software piracy because digital material can be copied so easily andtransmitted to many different locations simultaneously over the Internet.
Intellectual property is considered to be intangible property created byindividuals or corporations. Information technology has made it difficult toprotect intellectual property because computerized information can be so easilycopied or distributed in networks. Intellectual property is subject to avariety of protections under three different legal traditions: trade secrets,copyright, and patent law.Trade Secrets:Any intellectual work product—aformula, device, pattern, or compilation of Data—used for a business purposecan be classified as a trade secret,provided it is not based on information in the public domain. Protections fortrade secrets vary from state to state. In general, trade secret laws grant amonopoly on the ideas behind a work product, but it can be a very tenuousmonopoly.Copyright:Copyright is a statutory grant thatprotects creators of intellectual property from having their work copied byothers for any purpose during the life of the author plus an additional 70years after the author’s death. For corporate owned works, copyright protectionlasts for 95 years after their initial creation.
Patent:A patent grants the owner an exclusive monopoly on the ideas behindan invention for 20 years. The congressional intent behind patent law was toensure that inventors of new machines, devices, or methods receive the fullfinancial and other rewards of their labor and yet make widespread use of theinvention possible by providing detailed diagrams for those wishing to use theidea under license from the patent’s owner.4. How have informationsystems affected everyday life?Answer: Although computersystems have been sources of efficiency and wealth, they have some negativeimpacts. Computer errors can cause serious harm to individuals andorganizations. Poor data quality isalso responsible for disruptions and lossesfor businesses.
Although software companies try to debug their products beforereleasing them to the marketplace, they knowingly ship buggy products becausethe time and cost of fixing all minor errors would prevent these products fromever being released. What if the product was not offered on the marketplace,would social welfare as a whole not advance and perhaps even decline? Carryingthis further, just what is the responsibility of a producer of computerservices—should it withdraw the product that can never be perfect, warn theuser, or forget about the risk (let the buyer beware)? Three principal sources of poorsystem performance are (1) software bugs and errors, (2) hardware or facilityfailures caused by natural or other causes, and (3) poor input data quality.Jobscan be lost when computers replace workers or tasks become unnecessary inreengineered business processes. The ability to own and use computer may beexacerbating socioeconomic disparities among different racial groups and socialclasses. Widespread use of computers increases opportunities for computer crimeand computer abuse.
Computers can also create health problems, such as RSI,computer vision syndrome, and techno stress.Quality of life: Equity, access, and boundariesBalancing power: Althoughcomputing power decentralizing, key decision-making remains centralized.Rapidity of change: Businessesmay not have enough time to respond to global competitionMaintaining boundaries: Computing,Internet use lengthens work-day, infringes on family, personal timeDependence andvulnerability: Public and private organizations ever more dependent oncomputer systems