Technology and Ethics
Though there are many advantages to the fact that technology’s computing power doubles every 18 months, there also lie ethical issues. As technology advances, society becomes more dependent on and at risk to the unfathomable fast growing industry. Our culture is driven by the advancements in technology every day from our automobiles, means of communication, and banking just to name a few, which constantly puts the tasks of our daily lives in the hands of computers. But what happens once the world of technology glitches or fails us? Who is responsible? For some it is simply a moment of disconnect from the world, as in August 2011 when AT&T had a network outage in southern Florida, for others it can be a costly devastation of one’s life, as when a 43 year old man died in a New York City hospital after a computer error resulted in radiation being sent to his brain stem and neck rather than his throat (New York Times, January 2010). While our government encourages and promotes the development of the technology industry, including the growth of the internet both for the benefit of a healthy competitive market, the lives and workforce of this country encounter greater computer related issues. Our society must compare the potential benefits and harm that can be done if we choose to continue in rapid advancements. Google defines liability as “the state of being responsible for something, especially by law”. Based on this definition, in terms of technology, someone or an organization ultimately has to be responsible when computer error occurs. For many cases, it can be difficult to determine exactly which party or person is liable for the computer related error- the user, manufacturer, or other involved parties. With extensive laws in place and a rise in cases being heard in courts, lawmakers are finding a need to alter these existing laws to better accommodate the present times of a society lead by technology. Among the cases...
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