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ETHICS IN MANAGING INFORMATION SYSTEMS (MIS)

Information systems used to be about managing information through the use of automated systems.
The moral implications of collecting and storing the personal, medical, private, or financial records of
individuals were the same as they were when these records were on paper and housed in massive
collections. The individuals who were represented by the paper records had some expectations of: a
right to privacy, the proper securing and release of the information, the use of the information for the
intended and legitimate purpose that was announced when it was collected, and the compensation for
misuse, false information, and other damages that might accrue from mismanagement of records. The
same moral and ethical issues apply to the electronic records of facts about individuals.

Now, information systems are transactional, meaning that they involve transactions and inputs by the
individual and others. As a result, the moral implications are expanded greatly. There are moral
implications of falsely presenting a website as a banking or financial site in order to collect
passwords and to steal. There are moral implications of hacking into medical and other private and
protected records in order to extort, improperly obtain, or to misuse the information contained in the
records.
There are moral implications for any business that uses information technology to publish advertising
or claims about their products, takes in money, and is expected to deliver the product, service or
content that was promised and depicted. There are requirements to protect the customers safety by
providing warnings, to protect the customers financial and credit information, personal information
and privacy. There are also requirements to maintain business records in accordance with the law and
with good business practices.

COMPUTER ETHICS:

Computer Ethics is a part of practical philosophy which deals with how computing professionals
should make decisions regarding professional and social conduct.

The term computer ethics was first coined by Dr. Walter Maner, a professor at Bowling Green
State University.

They are the moral guidelines that govern the use of computers and information systems.
WHY COMPUTER ETHICS IS IMPORTANT?
Prevents Misuse of Personal Information:
Computers have made the world come closer, be it personally or professionally! Most of us find it
more convenient to shop online rather than going out. For this we are asked to give out our
personal information like name, date of birth and most importantly, our 'credit card information'. If
we know that people don't follow computer ethics everywhere, would we feel safe to give out all
this information? On the contrary, if we have read their privacy policies and know that they abide
by the cyber laws and computer ethics, we know for a fact that our personal information will not

be misused.
Prevents Theft of Intellectual Property:
Intellectual property (IP) is a legal term that refers to creations of the mind. Some common types of
intellectual property rights are copyright, patents, and industrial design rights; and the rights that
protect trademarks. The internet consists of various intellectual properties which include works of
various researchers, writers, song artists etc. Without the presence of computer ethics, the work
created by the intellect of one person can be easily copied and plagiarized by someone else.

Prevents

Loss

of

Various

Jobs

in

the

field

of

Software

Development:

There are thousands of people globally that are working in companies that develop computer
programs and software. However, if we find out a way to get this software without having to pay the

price, most of us would prefer piracy over paying. The general mentality of most of the people
downloading software illegally is that these companies are very rich and it really wouldn't affect
them. There are thousands of people getting involved in unethical downloads and distribution. In fact,
a report reveals that a significant number of the people prefer never to pay for a software and get

involved in piracy!
Keeps you from being Unethical:
In following computer ethics, we would know what we need to do to be a responsible user and keep
away from getting into trouble by being unethical. There are various laws that can penalize us if we

are caught violating the privacy policies and norms of individual websites.
Makes Your Computer a Better and Safe place to be at:
A computer is not just an electronic device for communication, it is a data store, a photo album, a
work recorder, social network etc. If we get involved in downloading information or accessing
portals that we are not allowed to, then we are opening the doors of various issues and threats like
viruses and Trojans that can illegally enter the system and crash it completely. On the other hand, if
the system is used in the way it is supposed to, we are creating a safer and a better atmosphere
wherein we can be rest assured that our work and personal information is absolutely safe and secure.
PROFESSIONAL ETHICS:
Professional ethics encompass the personal, organizational and corporate standards of behavior
expected of professionals. One of the earliest examples of professional ethics is the Hippocratic Oath
to which medical doctors still adhere to this day.
PRINCIPLES OF PROFESSIONAL ETHICS:
Ethical principles are universal standards of right and wrong prescribing the kind of behaviour an
ethical company or person should and should not engage in. These principles provide a guide to
making decisions but they also establish the criteria by which decisions will be judged by others.

Honesty

Integrity

Transparency

Accountability

Confidentiality

Objectivity

Respectfulness

Law abiding
ISSUES IN COMPUTER ETHICS:

Privacy - concerns the collection and use of data about individuals.

Accuracy - relates to the responsibility of those who collect data to ensure that the data is correct.

Property - relates to who owns data and rights to software.

Access - relates to the responsibility of those who have data to control who is able to use that data.
BIBLIOGRAPHY:
http://wsu-techcomm.wikispaces.com/Ethics+in+MIS
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Computer_ethics
http://www.buzzle.com/articles/importance-of-computer-ethics.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Professional_ethics