Personal Identifiable Information (PII)
Introduction & Background
This paper will discuss Information Technology (IT) and how there is value in the philosophy about ethical issues related to IT, chiefly, though not completely, issues concerning individuality and identity management, unequivocally in terms of respect for individual privacy and the responsibility of operators who access such personal identifiable information (PII) and understand the core values of IT ethics (Dillon, 2010). The problem to be investigated in this paper is the challenges associated with the ethical usage of Information Technology (IT) within modern corporations and the mitigating factors associated with protecting Personal Identifiable Information (PII) within society. Many scholars claim that societies are changing due to the advancements of IT. Their primary argument is that IT is creating ethical challenges to organizations and societies (Brooks, 2010). The ethical challenges associated with IT consist of privacy violations, job reductions, personal gain, security related issues, intellectual property, fraud, etc.
Brooks (2010) found that the challenges of IT (when referring to PII) is stemmed from the lack of ethical standards, while (Cone, 2008) claims that the challenges of IT is caused by the lack of social responsibility. The principle of social responsibility is that everyone within the organization (in this case we will call it XYZ Company) has the responsibility to maintain the welfare of the privacy information at their fingertips (Jennings, 2012). In contrast, the lack of computer ethics is causing societies to change due to the advancements of IT and the violations associated with the lack of computer ethics (Brooks, 2010).
Computer ethics was first identified in the early 1950s, but due to the lack of proper training in the IT field in the 1950s, the topic of computer ethics was ignored. Roughly twenty-years later in the 1970s, scholars identified computer ethics as the ethical decisions that either fall into the areas that have no policy or the areas that policy is inadequate (Moor, 1985). Computers provide individuals with new capabilities, which in turn provide us new choices for action (Moor, 1985). Computer ethics governs the decisions that individuals make that are not defined within policy. Many scholars and management specialists claim that “the challenges of Information Technology are due to the fact that individuals have changed the focus from the “we” generation to the “me” generation (Brooks, 2008, 25).”
Brooks (2008), identified eight categories of ethical issues that are challenging societies to correct before societies are required to change: “globalization, intellectual property, identity theft, viruses and hacking, junk mail and spamming, information access and denial, surveillance, and health.” Furthermore, scholars acknowledged three additional ethical concerns with the usage of IT to include: violating people’s privacy, job reductions and personal gain (George, 2006).
Brooks (2010), provided several examples of unethical decisions that individuals were conducting within organizations that could potentially have a negative impact upon the general public. Brooks (2010), reported that “62% of IT employees accessed another person’s computer without permission, 50% read confidential information without a legitimate reason, 42% knowingly violated the company’s computer policy, and 32% of the individuals that committed the unethical decisions were senior officials (Brooks, 2010).” Why then, is senior management not held accountable? I believe this stems from a lack of one’s moral integrity and failure of leadership to hold violators accountable. The ethical usage of IT is that everyone within the XYZ Company has the social responsibility to utilize informational technology ethically, which is also known as computer ethics. The...
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