This case study shows about the collection and analyzing of students’ data by the Universities for different purposes. For the University of Arizona, after analyzing the students’ information by swiping of student ID cards; the relationships and social interaction between the students as well as changing interactions over time are analyzed. The various quantitative measures in respect of size of social circle between the students and its effects are analyzed. The personal details of the students are also shared by the academic advisors of the University. Using UA Wi-Fi data from the 8,000 Wi-Fi hubs within the campus; accurate image for the movement and behavior of the students are gathered. The digital data of the students are very much needed for the colleges and Universities to increase academic success of the students. But, this data may hamper privacy concern of the students and may be utilized as an un-ethical issue. This essay discusses about the various ethical theories like utilitarianism, deontology, virtue, and contract in respect of this case study.
This theory tells about an act which is good if maximum number of people can take benefit from this type of act (kizza, 2014). From the case study, the confidential information of the students can be disclosed to the illicit users. To keep the utilitarian theory in this case study, the data security and protection for the students may be lost but maximum numbers of students can take benefit from academic advisors about their conduct and behavior. If the digital data of the students are not revealed by student ID cards, CatCard or UA Wi-Fi to the colleges or Universities; then necessary information about the students are not gathered by Academic Advisors. After gathering the required information; the Academic Advisors used to take necessary action for the students. So, students are beneficial from the advice. But, digital ethics should maintain in this situation.
Due to heavy utilizing of digital data using sensors; this data may be stolen by hackers by attacking the system through different threats and vulnerabilities (Greenhow et al., 2009). A utilitarian should focus on the benefit of the students beyond consequences. Loss of privacy of confidential data for the students may lead to benefit the maximum number of students currently; the future-consequences would be less desirable (the confidential data gathered by the hackers). So, the utilitarian must consider the best policy for protecting the digital data. So, to maintain the digital ethics; this theory must protect the University’s system in a way so that un-authorized personnel cannot access the data.
An action is right or wrong is determined by this theory (Forester & Morrison, 2001). In this case study, breaching the privacy as well as losing the confidential data of the students is illegal. The deontological ethical theory tells that if we ‘make exceptions for ourselves, we violate the principle of impartiality’ (Tavani, 2013).
This theory must perform the following actions to maintain right policy,-
A deontologist must support the right policy but the wrong thing in this case study is to access students ‘data without prior consent of the students.
This ethical theory mainly focuses on the faith in a way so that temperament for doing the right thing is more effectual rather than set of rules and principles. People must perform moral behavior from their habit but not introspection (Reynolds, 2015). The main issue with the virtue theory is that complexity for implementing the environment of virtues in real world as different cultural people along with societies believe virtue in different ways (Mastin, 2008). According to Dark, the virtue ethics depends on the nature of the person but not included with the cultures and societies but different character tends to be promoted(Dark, 2010). From the case study, some students believe that data privacy is not so important rather than academic advisory feedback. To get the academic advisory feedback of each student; some data may be misused by the University.
This theory tells about the positive consequences that must abide by the people for the welfare of the society. A contract ethicist must abide various guidelines and rules for their “moral compass”. Any illegal rules must be avoided. In this case study, misusing of students’ information as well as sharing of confidential students’ data are very much illegal and hence it is not morally allowable.
A Contract ethicist finds it immoral and hence can provide the idea about prohibiting for sharing of information in the following levels,-
In this essay, two kinds of investigations are talked about. First is the investigation of the contextual analysis in the regard of ethical thought. Second is the examination of the circumstance for keeping up moral practices of the ICT experts as per the ACS code of morals.
The aftereffect of the ethical issue can be guided by right or wrong activities about a specific action by the ICT group. The field of morals for the University can be prescribed into following three zones,
Jagdish Pathak (2005) had demonstrated that the effect of innovation must shape the more extensive locale on the generation and control structures. The key hazard behind the IT looking at is the risk factor where information security is the prime concern. David Coderee (1993) had told about the upside of CAATT (Computer Assisted Audit Tools and Techniques) that immensely help the University for fitting sorting out and detailing. This framework enhances the respect, ability and sufficiency for review. (Krishna et.al, 2011).
James et al. (2001) told about the present audit process that will be paperless and with the assistance of headway like EDI (Electronic data interchange) and EFT (Electronic Fund Transfer); the moral effectiveness for the planned App of the University is extended.
An affiliation using IT devices must shield their mystery automated information from various accomplices like customers, agents, different partners and contenders. Administering business securities and moreover executing specialized ethics to the laborers is a great challenge for the Organization. In the wake of executing suitable moral practices to the staffs of University; the University must ensure their business security. By using complex advancement, giving representatives' preparation and maintaining laws; the University must shield their fundamental business establishment from disillusioned staffs, hackers, corporate secret operators and wrongdoers.
It is especially extremely basic for making moral guidelines by the University to cover every IT-related conditions and maltreatment inside or outside the University. To follow each possible issue about using of all IT-related non-moral activities are accessible for the University.
Forester, T. & Morrison, P. (2001). Computer Ethics: Cautionary Tales and Ethical Dilemmas in Computing. 2nd Edition. The MIT Press.
Greenhow, Christine, Beth Robelia, and Joan E. Hughes. (2009). "Learning, Teaching, and Scholarship in a Digital Age Web 2.0 and Classroom Research: What Path Should We Take Now? " Educational Researcher. Vol 38(4), pp : 246-259.
Kizza, J.M. (2014). Computer Network Security and Cyber Ethics. 4th Edition. McFarland and Company.
Tavani, H. T. (2013). Ethics and Technology: Controversies, Questions, and Strategies for Ethical computing. 4th Edition, Wiley & Sons.
Mastin, L. (2008). Virtue Ethics. The Basics of Philosophy. Retrieved from: http://www.philosophybasics.com/branch_virtue_ethics.html
Reynolds, G.W. (2015). Ethics in Information Technology. 5th Edition. Cengage Learning
Rai, A., Pavlou, P. A., Im, G., and Du, S. (2012). “Interfirm IT Capability Profiles and Communications for Cocreating Relational Value: Evidence from the Logistics Industry,” MIS Quarterly (36:1), pp. 233-262.