The term ethics is difficult to understand. This is because many people believe that, what is ethical is what is right by their own judgment and what is unethical is what is wrong by their judgment, but being ethical does not have to bring pleasure feelings. This can lead one doing what is unethical. Most actions are unethical since they have external influence such as religious beliefs, the law, and the society expectations.
Therefore, what is ethics? Ethics according to Velasquez, et al. (2010) may imply two things. First, ethics refers to well founded standards of right or wrong that prescribe what humans need to do, in terms of rights, requirements, acceptance by the society and fairness. Ethical standards are seen by virtues such as honesty, kindness and peacefulness.
Unethical behavior among personnel in the information technology teams is the worst form of threat; it is so pathetic compared to a nosy hacker who has no ties to the company. IT companies design the networks and maintain the databases that business, companies, schools, and governments rely on to carry out their duties. Therefore, dishonest activities on the part of information technology specialist can have many negative impacts.
To start with, the damage of the company integrity. Schools, business, and government usually take into consideration the safety and security of their data, for example, if students of a particular high school hack the database of an IT company and change the examination scores can lead to termination of the company’s contract. Therefore, if a company will not protect their client’s interest it can lead to loss of client and thus lose profit.
Secondly, information technology is a profession and any unethical behavior by the players in the industry can make the industry come to a halt, delay of services, or even shutting down operation. For example, fake players who claim to car-track their client’s cars and even do not have the ability to carry out their services forcing them shut when busted.
Thirdly, unethical behavior has a significant impact on academics, research and development in the industry. If shutting of IT companies continues because of unethical practices, then it will make employees put a halt in the employment of new IT professionals. This leads to a reduction in the number of students receiving IT training in colleges. In addition, it leads to a slowdown in research and development of new IT products, for example, the putting to a halt the implementation of electronic voting systems in many countries is that their governments believe that they can be manipulated to achieve the interest of a particular person, thus leading potential loss of jobs.
Lastly, many countries depend on information technology to lift its citizens out of poverty. Therefore, unethical behavior can lead to destruction of the dreams of many developing governments and business if they cannot have trust on the people charged with securing and maintaining the technology.
The American Heriatage (2005) defines culture as a multifaceted concept. Culture is can be exhibited in a variety of ways in both the work place and out-of-work environment. Therefore, in the IT spheres, there are many teams that hold different believes and ideas on who to run and go about business in their profession. This leads to conflict. For instance, there is a group of IT teams that believe that products that come out of their firm should never be used or taken up or modified by other teams. An instance of this is the conflict witnessed between the Apple Company of America and a China-based company. Apple accuses a China company of stealing its ideas thus leading to conflict between the two. As seen above, there are practices that are according to other individuals in the IT profession are considered ethical while others are not. For instance, others maintain that an idea needs to be researched on to give rise to better and quality services for the client and the ever growing and dynamic IT sector. There are those with an opposite believe of this case. They believe that one should come up with their own ideas that have their originality in the persons that develop them.
According to Smith (2010), traders in the same field do not usually come together, even for noble reasons, and when they do so their talks end up as plots against the citizens, and many at times result in a raise of prices. Therefore, the government should set laws and regulations that lead business behavior in an ethical direction.
Americans with Disability Act (ADA) prohibits bias based on disability on public utility. Within Section 508, ADA has rule requiring that vendors willing to be business personality in the U.S Federal Government must also ensure that they meet the set rules and regulations in their business practices. All companies should provide systems that are comfortable to all. This is regardless of their fight to win contracts with the federal government as this provides equal opportunity to all regardless of their abilities. Compliance with ADA and Section 508 is an expensive venture for the upcoming business and the government should pay them to subsidize this.