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ITC506 : Information And Communication Technologies

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ITC506 : Information And Communication Technologies

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Course Code: ITC506
University: Charles Sturt University

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Country: Australia


1. Identify a recent (within the last six (6) months) ethical dilemma or ethically questionable situation relating to ICT that you are familiar with. This situation can be either in the media (for example one you have sourced from a newspaper, or online through social media) or through your workplace.
If using a workplace example, to maintain confidentiality, do not use real names.
If you use a media article you must include the link to the media article in the references list of your assignment.
2. Identify the key ethical issues contained in your chosen case and use the three distinct perspectives of applied ethics including professional, philosophical, sociological/descriptive ethics to analyse the ethical issues involved in the case. The word limit should be between . Note: Headings, citations, references and any appendices do not count towards your word limit, but quotations do. At the start of the assignment indicates in brackets the word count of your assignment excluding those items mentioned above.

A new data leak reportedly exposed 230 million American’s personal information.

Cyber-crime is common these days with the advancement in technology. Hackers hack the sensitive information and misuse it for their own benefits (Tavani, 2011).One of the biggest marketing and data aggregation firm D Ltd. has reported that it has been cyber attacked in the year 2018. This firm is a Florida based firm that carries out the business of marketing. The hackers may have access confidential details of the organization from the blue chip clients that includes their username, password, emails, and confidential and private documents (Two cents, 2018).In the investigation, it was reported that D Ltd does not have two-step verification set up and access requires only a single password. Many clients of this firm reported that their personal details and information was impacted due to hack.  The e-mails of nearly 340 million clients put their personal information at risk due to cyber-attack (Cnet, 2018). The information and details includes e-mails, home address, phone number, excluding credit card details. Impact of data breach includes loss of sensitive and confidential information, damage to the reputation and goodwill of organization, financial loss and customer loss of trust. In addition, it may lead to a hit on the reputation of company’s cyber security (Fortune, 2018). The civil case was also filed by attorney Adam Levitt and Amy Keller of a famous law firm owner in US court against this company (PYMNTS, 2018).
Professional ethics perspective
Professional ethics includes the conduct, behavior, and qualities that show the characteristics of a profession or professional person. One needs to be fair, transparent, respectful of confidentiality, honorable, set good examples, and strive for excellence. D Ltd. fails in professional ethics, as it cannot set up a good example of professional ethics due to the sudden cyber-attack that took place. Failure of professional ethics by a reputed accountancy firm certainly has adverse implications (Brooks & Dunn, 2017).
Implications of professional ethics :  A firm may have to face regulatory compliance (fees), legal issues, technical investigations, customer breach notifications, adverse impact on the goodwill and negative impact on the reputation of firm, loss of revenue, intangible cost related with loss of customer relationship, disruption in carrying out daily operations and public relations fees (Lurie & Mark, 2016).
Evaluation of solution: Proper security steps must be taken by D Ltd. in order to prevent cyber-attack. The following ways can be taken to evaluate solution to the problem of cyber-attack:

Identification of basic threats that may negatively influence on the company.
Proper and smart measures should be taken to minimize such cyber-attacks.
Use strong passwords and security system. Keep password confidential.
Be aware and operate as if one can expect an attack anytime.
Deploy elementary security measures two-factor authentication (Tavani, 2011).
Always keep a check on employee’s behavior. As sometimes due to negligence on part of employees, these kinds of attacks take place.
Hire an expert IT professional to minimize such IT risks.
Make sure to use up dated security measures to avoid such problems.
Use better software and data protection and privacy measures (Global economic symposium, 2018).
Cyber security insurance must be taken by the firm to prevent financial loss (Forbes, 2014).

Philosophical ethics perspective
This ethical perspective focuses on how one ought to act. It attempts to evaluate what a firm should do and whether their current behavior is reasonable.  This focuses on whether D Ltd.’s current behavior towards cyber-attack is reasonable and what they should do (Darwall, 2018).
Implications of philosophical ethics: People’s trust may get affected if they feel that the current security measures used by the firm are not up to mark, can lead to reputational damage of the firm in front of public as well as its investors, competitors may take advantage of the situation and spread unnecessary rumors and gossips about the firm may make difficult for the firm to rebuild trust.
Evaluation of solutions:

Try to gain public trust via various sources such as social media platform.
Take public and investors in confidence.
In case if anybody is, spreading false rumors do come in front of public and put forward your justifications.
Assure them that this is a temporary crisis and further will not occur in future.

Sociological/descriptive ethics perspective
This includes attitude/ belief of people. It aims to discover people belief about actions, which are wrong (immoral) and right (moral). In order to maintain trust of the people it is important for Deloitte to try to gain public trust after happening of such incident of cyber-attack (Carroll & Buchholz, 2014).
Implications of sociological/descriptive ethics: Trust of people may lost in company, adverse impact on the goodwill of company on its employees and partners, loss of customers, partners of the firm may feel insecure, employees may be in fear about their well-being, affects unfavorably survival of the company in the long run, can lead to financial losses to the company and impacts on the revenue of the company, negative impact on the image of higher official and IT team working for the company
Evaluation of solutions: It is important to re- gain the trust of people if a company wants to survive in long run.

A company can compensate a victim in accordance with the severity of breach.
Making improvements to their system to avoid future breach.
Communicate with public via media alert how the issue can be resolved and what are the expected timings.
Do not try to cover up and give misleading details to the audience when truth is out.
Boost cyber security to build trust of people.
Get your business up and running within short span of time.
Clean up the infected system as soon as possible to regain public trust.
Give public appearance instead of running away from them. This act helps in creation of positive image of the firm.
Try to take into confidence your employees and investors. So that they may not spread any kind of rumors about the firm.

From the above reading, a conclusion can be derived that D Ltd. has faced cyber-attack due to its weak IT planning and negligence. If they would have taken several steps earlier they could have prevent this cyber-attack.  In order to avoid further such ethical dilemmas in near future the firm needs to take several steps to prevent these professional, philosophical, and descriptive ethics problems by deeply taking into serious implications and consequences of these ethics related dilemmas. Once these ethical problems and their consequences are seriously taken in to consideration by D Ltd. then only it will be able to maintain its goodwill and pre vent reputational damage. For this proper planning and implementation of cyber-security, the firm must take measures.
With the advancement and revolution, taking place in technology the problem of ethical dilemma has become a matter of concern for various organizations. Ethical issues are those that need an organization to choose between right and wrong. This report will focus on ethical dilemma related to ICT and the major implications of ethical problems. In addition, a critical evaluation of solution to ethical problems and consistently argue about the moral issues raised by adoption and use of ICT. The key ethical issues include three different perspectives those are professional ethics perspective, philosophical ethics perspective and sociological/ descriptive ethics perspective. The ethical dilemma that is being highlighted is of one of the famous marketing firms D Ltd. Taken from the Fortune that is a famous business magazine.
Brooks, L.J., & Dunn, P. (2017). Business and professional ethics for directors, executives, and accountants. USA: Cengage learning.
Carroll, A. & Buchholtz, A. (2014). Business and society: Ethics, sustainability and stakeholder management. (9th ed.). USA: Cengage learning.
Cnet . (2018). Exactis said to have exposed 340 million records , more than Equifax breach. Retrieved from: https://www.cnet.com/news/exactis-340-million-people-may-have-been-exposed-in-bigger-breach-than-equifax/
Darwall, S. (2018). Philosophical ethics: an historical and contemporary introduction. New York: Routledge.
Forbes. (2014). How companies can rebuild trust after a security breach. Retrieved from: https://www.forbes.com/sites/katevinton/2014/07/01/how-companies-can-rebuild-trust-after-a-security-breach/#8be998b5e6ca
Fortune. (2018). A new data leak reportedly exposed 230 million American’s personal information. Retrieved from: https://fortune.com/2018/06/28/exactis-data-leak-personal-information/
Global economic symposium. (2018). Five concern and five solution for cyber security. Retrieved from: https://www.global-economic-symposium.org/knowledgebase/the-global-polity/cybercrime-cybersecurity-and-the-future-of-the-internet/proposals/five-concerns-and-five-solutions-for-cybersecurity
Lurie, Y. & Mark, S. (2016). Professional ethics of software engineers: An ethical framework. Journal of Science and engineering ethics, 22(2), pp. 417-434.
PYMNTS. (2018). Exactis data breach sparks action against lawsuit. Retrieved from: https://www.pymnts.com/legal/2018/exactis-data-breach-class-action-lawsuit/
Tavani, H.T. (2011). Ethics and technology: controversies, questions, and strategies for ethical computing. USA: John Wiley & Sons.
Two cents  (2018). A marketing firm’s data breach has put hundreds of millions of people’s personal info at risk. Retrieved from: https://twocents.lifehacker.com/exactis-data-breach-has-put-hundreds-of-millions-of-peo-1827212089

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