The Case for Internet Ethics and Integrity

Life was much simpler when blackberries and apples were just fruits… 

The advances in technology give us more power to act, which also means we have to make choices we didn’t need to make before.  New and improved technologies create ethical challenges, challenges that we must not dismiss or ignore.  Like it or not, technology has been ingrained in our daily lives, so we must uphold and maintain good ethics for in our internet use.  

Translating ethics into the realm of tech introduces computer/internet ethics, which are nothing more than a set of moral principles that regulate the use of computers and the internet. Everyday computer ethics include privacy concerns, intellectual property rights, and societal responsibility. 

As technology continues to advance, computers will subsequently increase their impact on society, but how much influence should computers have over human communications? 

It all starts with the basics of ethics, as our parents and teachers often taught us: “Do the right thing.” 

At Presence Global, we believe every business should build on a foundation of these common principles of ethics: 

  • Respect for others: Treat people as you want to be treated. 
  • Integrity and honesty: Tell the truth and avoid any wrongdoing to the best of your ability. 
  • Justice: Make sure you’re objective and fair and don’t disadvantage others. 
  • Lawfulness: Know and follow the law – always. 
  • Competence and accountability: Work hard and be responsible for your work. 
  • Teamwork: Collaborate and be a good team player. 
internet ethics needs teamwork
Internet ethics will require teamwork. Photo by Camylla Battani on Unsplash

The actions of tech companies and professionals need to comply with ethics and ethics-based laws because their actions have a broad impact on today’s world. While exciting and potentially groundbreaking, their work can have severe effects on society. It’s crucial that these organizations and business professionals continuously reflect on the ethical values above to ensure the public good’s consistent support. 

The Netflix drama-documentary “The Social Dilemma” by Jeff Orlowski discusses privacy and ethics as they apply to the internet. The Social Dilemma team spotlights the glaringly unethical algorithms that some big tech giants use to side-step respect for your privacy and to exploit the masses. To those organizations, social addiction and limited privacy are tools for financial gain, not issues subject to human ethics. 

Respecting a person’s privacy includes an acknowledgment of a person’s right to freedom and recognizing an individual as an autonomous human being.  The entire computing profession benefits when the ethical decision-making process is accountable to and transparent to all stakeholders. 

Here are a few ethical principles to help guide instructors, students, influencers, and anyone who uses the internet in a way that impacts others. These principles, which concern all people’s quality of life, affirm an obligation of computing professionals, both individually and collectively, to use their skills to benefit society. 

How to Build Better Internet Ethics

Avoid Causing Harm 

Before you take action, think about the potential harm an action can cause. Examples of harm include unjustified physical or mental injury, unwarranted destruction or disclosure of information, and needless damage to property, reputation, and the environment. 

Respect Privacy 

In one of recent blogs, my colleague Max Lieberman outlined tips for protecting your data.  Much of his content has discussed the connection between cyberbullying and data protection (See Max’s articles on cyberbullying here and here). Presence and its advisors believe a code of internet ethics for privacy is necessary because it helps an organization’s members make decisions that align with company values and make it easier for members to be autonomous. 

Be Honest and Trustworthy 

Honesty is an essential component of trustworthiness. A computing professional should be transparent and fully disclose all pertinent system capabilities, limitations, and potential problems to the appropriate parties. Computing professionals should not misrepresent an organization’s policies or procedures.  

Focus on the Public’s Well-Being 

Will your actions negatively affect users, customers, colleagues, or others? This needs to be a core focus if we are ever going to make a globally significant change. 

What can you do to help build a better online world for future generations? 

  • Take responsibility for what you share.  
  • Respect others online. 
  • Ask for permission before posting content or photos of others. 
  • Be conscious of the potential adverse effects content you are sharing can cause.  
  • Verify the validity of facts, statistics, and information before sharing. 

Technology has given us a comprehensive platform to grow, explore, find new meaning to life, and access information that would otherwise be out of reach with a click of a button. So be proud of what you do and enjoy a sense of accomplishment in the search for better quality and greater efficiency by using good judgment, being attentive to others, and taking the time to listen before posting. 

Our goal is to provide peace of mind online through an easy-to-use, complete solution for internet privacy. By increasing privacy awareness and giving families and individuals the tools to manage their digital livelihood, we hope to minimize cyberbullying and its terrible effects

The digital future impacts all of us. Open the doors and listen to the diverse voices of people online and offline. Let’s work together and build a code of internet ethics and a better online life for everyone. 

Join the Movement #PrivacyFirst 

Consumer Security Evangelist @ Presence Global.
Feb 1, 2021 9:09:52 PM

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