Networks can be breached, personal identification information can be compromised, identities can be stolen and potentially result in personal financial ruin, critical confidential corporate information or classified government secrets can be stolen from online systems and Web sites can be hacked. In the past, security issues were resolved by locking a door. Digital security is much more complicated. Security systems for digital networks are computerized in order to protect vital information and important assets. Electronic records safeguards for medical records are actually much more secure than old-fashioned paper records, which sit around on desks and on shelves, frankly, unsecured…You have no way of knowing who looked at a paper record. (McGee, 2004, p. 24). IT professionals need to balance risk with freedom to create a security system that is effective and ethical at the same time.
• Is the technology likely to create novel types of vulnerabilities, e.g. by generating or requiring sensitive data?
• To what degree will existing security solutions be applicable to the technology?
• Have systems been reviewed for the most likely sources of security breach?
Privacy: Privacy is the ability of an individual or group to seclude themselves, or information about themselves, and thereby express themselves selectively. Privacy has recently been shown to be the by far most discussed ethical issue in ICT (Stahl et al. 2016). Privacy is probably the most widely discussed ethical issue in ICT and has been highlighted as a key concern for RRI (Preissl 2011) the emerging technologies that were investigated generally were perceived to exacerbate privacy issues or even create novel ones. This could happen due to the increasing amount of data that most of the ubiquitous and pervasive systems could create and collect. As much as information technology has enabled us to share and find relevant information online. It has also exploited our freedom of privacy. Their so many ways our privacy is exploited, the use of internet webcams, experienced computer users can turn on any webcam of any computer online and they will have access to your private life, many celebrities have been victims of these online stalkers. The use of social networks, the main concept of these networks is to connect with new and old friends then share your life with them, however, the loop hole in this, is that whenever someone access your shared life data like photos, they can like it and send it their friends who are not your friends, which might expose you to users with wrong intentions to use your data, also some companies are known for spying on their employees via these social networks. Most people have their personal data spread throughout the digital world. Even things thought to be secure, such as email or private accounts, can be accessed by unintended sources.. Privacy has evolving legal implications, but there are also ethical considerations. All organizations collect personal data on employees, data that if not properly safeguarded can result in significant negative implications for individuals. According to Warren and Brandeis (1890), the contemporary right of privacy becomes necessary because of the growth of mechanical reproduction of information. They cite “the right to be left alone” by the media: “Gossip has become a trade…pursued with industry as well as effrontery” (p. 3).
• Which types and quantities of data will the technology require and/or generate?
• Who will have access to the data?
• Who will know about the existence and possible inferences from the data?
• How much effort and expense should incur in considering questions of data access and privacy?
Copyright Infringement: Information technology has made it easy for users to access any information or artifact at any given time. With the increased development of music sharing networks and photo bookmarking sites, many original creators of these works are losing the credibility of their works, because users of IT can easily gain access and share that data with friends. Free music and file downloading sites are popping up on internet every day, lots of original work like music albums, books, are being downloaded for free. In this case one legitimate user will purchase the book, software, web template or music album, and they will submit it to a free download site where others will simply just download that data for free. It is good news for the users because it saves them money, but it harms the original creator of these works.
Increased pressure on IT experts: Since information technology systems have to run all the time, pressure is mounted on IT experts to ensure the accuracy and availability of these systems. Many big organizations which need to operate 24 hours will require a standby IT team to cater for any issues which might arise during the course of operation. This pressure results into stress and work overload which sometimes results into Imperfection.
Digital Ownership: Digital mediums have allowed information to flow more freely than before. This exchange of ideas comes with a legal and ethical backlash. How can ownership be established in the digital realm? Things can be easily copied and pasted online, which makes intellectual property hard to control. Legal notions such as copyright have struggled to keep up with the digital era. Companies in the music and entertainment industries have pushed for greater legal protections for intellectual properties while other activists have sought to provide greater freedoms for the exchange of ideas in the digital realm. What can employers expect from employees with regard to nondisclosure when going to work for another firm? What part of an information asset belongs to an organization and what is simply part of an employee’s general knowledge?
Digital divide: The digital divide is the lack of access to information and communications technologies by segments of the community e.g. gender, socio economic, race, resource equity and teacher bias. The very nature of society is increasingly affected by novel ICTs. A widely shared concern voiced with regards to numerous of the technologies refers to fairness and equity. These considerations are often framed in terms of the so called ‘digital divide’ between those who have access to technologies and those who do not. This divide may result in or increase inequality between societies. This, in turn, may cause stratification of groups according to their access to technology and undermine communication. While some individuals and groups will be able to better communicate with one another, different availability of technologies and diverging abilities to use them may erect barriers to communication in some cases. Another related consequence is the possible stigmatization of those without access as they fall behind and are not able to live up to the standards set by technological innovation.
• Which impact will the technology have on the possibility to participate in social life?
• Which mechanisms of diffusion are likely to be used to introduce the technology widely?
• What are the likely consequences for groups that are already marginalized?
Ownership, data control, and intellectual property: ICT innovations make it difficult to ascertain who owns or controls data, software, and intellectual property, and how to guarantee that ownership is respected and protected. Although new models are being developed to deal with these issues, such as the Creative Commons, it remains difficult to evaluate the effectiveness and applicability of these models. Another concern in this respect is the risk of ‘lock in’ that is, dependence on a proprietary standard or third-party control over property or access to certain technology. These shifts in control are paralleled by shifts in power relations. Having control over data, identities, and, potentially, thoughts, ultimately raises questions about the status and desirability of the power that this control entails.
Which ownership or access models are favoured by the technology?
Does the technology make use of open or proprietary standards?
Issues are raised in the analyses concerning responsibility. Complexity of ICT systems makes it difficult to ascertain who is responsible for the consequences of the system, that is, the ‘problem of many hands’ (van de Poel et al. 2012). Additionally, as technology becomes more autonomous through ‘smart systems’, for example, a ‘responsibility gap’ can occur, making it difficult to allocate ultimate responsibility. This shift of control from humans to artefacts may also entail blaming technology for unwanted outcomes thereby exculpating humans involved.
• Which existing and legacy system does the technology rely on?
• Who is responsible for testing of the system?
• Which consequences could a malfunction or misuse of the technology have?
Cultural differences: Applications of emerging ICTs function on a global scale, across national and cultural borders. This raises concerns about dealing with and respecting cultural differences and doing justice to and cultivating cultural diversity. Conceptions and valuations of privacy, for instance, vary significantly across cultures, making it difficult to establish unified policies protecting privacy.
• Which assumptions about normal and desirable behaviour are embedded in the technology?
• Is there a possibility of testing the technology in different cultures?