Paper B: a matrix mapping of a key IT-related organizational (or personal) ethical issue concerning privacy and organizational policy designed to correct the ethical issue.
The first step of this assignment is an opportunity to analyze a key IT-related organizational (or personal, if you are not in the job force) ethical issue, related to privacy, subject to relevant laws, regulations, and policies. Both of the following sites provide sources, and an excellent backdrop for issues relating to privacy protection and the law.
This includes sub-topics discussing information privacy, privacy laws, applications and court rulings (case law is usually an extension of the basic law based on the facts from specific cases and real-world court decisions), and key privacy and anonymity issues. While the sites provide many interesting topics, be sure to focus on our class IT topics.
The completed matrix allows you to weigh the different issues involved and assign a rank as to the importance of the actions based on the effect on the stakeholders.
Normative Ethics List
Autonomy: is the duty to maximize the individual’s right to make his or her own decisions.
Beneficence: is the duty to do good both individually and for all.
Confidentiality: is the duty to respect privacy of information and action.
Equality: is the duty to view all people as moral equals.
Finality: is the duty to take action that may override the demands of law, religion, and social customs.
Justice: is the duty to treat all fairly, distributing the risks and benefits equally.
Non-maleficence: is the duty to cause no harm, both individually and for all.
Understanding/Tolerance: is the duty to understand and to accept another viewpoint if reason dictates doing so is warranted.
Publicity: is the duty to take actions based on ethical standards that must be known and recognized by all who are involved.
Respect for persons: is the duty to honor others, their rights, and their responsibilities. Showing respect others implies that we do not treat them as a mere means to our end.
Universality: is the duty to take actions that hold for everyone, regardless of time, place, or people involved. This concept is similar to the Categorical Imperative.
Veracity: is the duty to tell the truth.
A sample template for the matrix is shown below. To reconstruct the sample template, you may use the Table Tool in MS Word or copy and paste this template.
Step 1: Identify the ethical issue that you want to analyze, as described above. An example might be the falsification of your personal profile in a social networking site.
Step 2: Identify the stakeholders involved. You, someone who reads your personal profile in a social network site, potential employers, etc. Be sure that each stakeholder category is unique and not similar to another category you use.
Step 3: Choose any three (only three) of the Normative Ethics principles that might apply to your issue such as autonomy, publicity, and veracity.
Step 4: Identify how the ethical issue affects each stakeholder based on the principles you identified. Put this statement in the matrix next to the stakeholder.
Sample Completed Matrix
Ethical issue: falsifying your profile on a social networking site
You have the duty to maximize the right to make your own decisions.
You have the duty to take actions based on ethical standards that must be known and recognized by all who are involved.
You have the duty to tell the truth
2: Other users of the networking site
They have the duty to make their own decisions
They make these decisions based on ethical standards that should be recognized by the person falsifying their profile
They assume that the person falsifying the profile has the duty to tell the truth.
3: The social networking site
The autonomy of the site is limited by law (Goldman, 2007)
Users of social networking sites are content publishers, as such the site must take actions based on legal and ethical standards and must notify users of these standards so they are known by all.
As providers of content the site must conform to the laws regarding truth or be held responsible for legal issues as defamation (making harmful false statements about someone else) or copyright infringement. (Goldman, 2007)