Ethical Dilemmas of an Information Technology Helpdesk Technician

Topics: Ethics, Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution, Business ethics Pages: 5 (1624 words) Published: July 14, 2012
Table of Contents
Ethical Dilemma of Ownership1
Ethical Dilemma of Privacy3
Ethical Dilemma of Control4
Ethical Dilemma of Security4
Works Cited6

The world of Information Technology has made it literally possible for people to communicate access data and conduct research from any point of the world to another. Most people who make use of these systems are referred to as end-users by technicians in the information technology (IT) profession. End-users range from our next door neighbors to large businesses and firms who rely on computers and date transportation for day to day business. In many instances, the use of Information technology is vital when conducting business both locally and foreign. These end-users, like with any other profession, may require technical assistance from time to time with their modes of accessing their information, may require support for system failure, or the user may not be the most computer savvy, the list may go on and one. With such vital information travelling through cyberspace, the expertise of an IT helpdesk technician is vital to the end user. A helpdesk technician, also known as a computer support specialist (The New York Times Company, 2011) has the responsibility to provide computer or other technical support. As such, helpdesk technicians are exposed directly to the contents of personal, professionally legal and other information not originally meant for public distribution. Helpdesk techs are faced with many ethical dilemmas in that regard. Managers of IT departments are faced with ethical issues such as ownership, privacy, control and security. Ethical Dilemma of Ownership

The ethical dilemmas in regards to ownership with helpdesk technicians may be difficult to pinpoint. Information, knowledge and skills developed in the course of working on projects can be intricately intertwined. As a technician, a person is responsible for his or her own efforts to advance and keep with the current knowledge of the ever changing IT evolving world. Technicians have to familiarize themselves with new software, hardware and other technological references in order to perform their jobs as qualified techs. Companies and businesses have the obligation to make those advancements available to their technical staff, in order to maintain and receive adequate support. AS such, helpdesk techs are presented with training, new equipment and the latest advances in IT. With these resources, they have the opportunity and obligation to research, learn and put into practice the skills they have acquired. A scenario may present itself where the technician is requested to design a program based on some latest software developments. To design the program, the company would have had to send the tech on advanced training and provide the resources to have all of the work done to ensure that the technician meet the requirements to have the job done. The company, having providing that technician with the training and resources to have that program designed would be the party to incur all the expenses. On the other hand, the technician would be the one to put in the metal work and preparation o first acquire the knowledge, to put in the hours and applying his skills to the creation and design of the new program. Upon the successful completion of creating this new program design, should copyrights be given to the technician or the company? The real issue of ownership of this design would be based on which part of the information asset that belong to the business and which part was based on the employee’s general knowledge and skill. Further, if the employee was to move to another company or start his own business, would applying this design that he created be ethically correct?

Ethical Dilemma of Privacy
Proving ethical issues in the IT professions may be the most difficult to pinpoint and remedy. As such, “the Internet revolution has sparked a...
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