The continuous development of technology and the rise of social media significantly shape the modern life of people. The majority of them use different devices (tablets, laptops, or smartphones) to access the Internet and exchange information with other human beings for various purposes. Computer ethics emerged as an answer to the ethical concerns brought up by advanced technology. Although technology makes people freer and more capable, the behavior of individuals who use computers should not hurt or insult others.
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Computer ethics mainly deals with four issues regarding technology application that have ethical ramifications. According to Berzai (2019), the list includes privacy, computer property, software, records protection, computer failure, and computer crime. In terms of confidentiality, computers gather and store personal information that can be stolen by hackers and used for their own sake. Computerized records make people losing their control over information about them and their lives.
Today many businesses collect the personal data of their customers to provide better and more targeted services. Nevertheless, this practice raises questions over further data use, its safety, and possible manipulation. Although most devices have passwords, unauthorized computer entry usually results in information leakage. The copying and unauthorized usage of software (piracy) is another crucial issue. Many computer users, especially in developing countries, enjoy stolen versions of programs and even OS. For such individuals, software copying is not theft; it is rather a trick that helps them save money.
There are standards for computer use created by professional bodies and organizations. The governments also gradually improve their legislation to stop the unethical application of modern technology. The famous ten commandments introduced by the Computer Ethics Institute consist of various restrictions (Iqbal & Beigh, 2017). For instance, users should not interfere in others’ work, appropriate people’s intellectual output, and consider the social consequences of the program written by them.
These and similar rules significantly restrict the use of technology and personal freedom. To my mind, computer and Internet use should remain more liberated, especially in terms of self-realization. However, unethical cases that hurt others should be avoided or penalized. I believe that the ethical side of personal information leakage and overall privacy issue should be addressed as soon as possible. At the same time, the problem of software piracy should be resolved internationally.
Berzai, L. (2019). Ethical problems in computing. CompTIA. .
Iqbal, J., & Beigh, B. M. (2017). Computer ethics from obscure to ubiquitous. International Journal of Advanced Research in Computer Science, 8(3), 983-990. Web.
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