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Apply decision-making frameworks to IT-related ethical issues

There are several ethical theories described in Module 1: Ethical Theories. Module 2: Methods of Ethical Decision Making, describes frameworks for ethical analysis. For this paper, students will use the Reynolds Seven-Step approach to address the following:

?Describe a current IT-related ethical issue; and define a problem statement
?Analyze your problem using a decision-making framework chosen from Module 2.
?Discuss the applicable ethical theory from Module 1 that supports your decision.
?Prepare a minimum 3- 5 page, double-spaced paper and submit it to your Assignments Folder as an attached Microsoft Word file.
? Use APA style and format. Provide appropriate American Psychological Association (APA) reference citations for all sources. In addition to critical thinking and analysis skills, your paper should reflect appropriate grammar and spelling, good organization, and proper business-writing style.

Each of Reynolds seven steps is a major heading in your paper.

1.Workplace Issue.

2.Privacy on the Web. What is happening now in terms of privacy on the Web? Think about recent abuses and improvements. Describe and evaluate Web site policies, technical and privacy policy protections, and current proposals for government regulations.

3.Personal Data Privacy Regulations in Other Countries. Report on personal data privacy regulations, Web site privacy policies, and governmental/law enforcement about access to personal data in one or more countries; e.g., the European Union. This is especially relevant as our global economic community expands and we are more dependent on non-US clients for e-Business over the Internet. (Note: new proposed regulations are under review in Europe.)

4.Spam. Describe new technical solutions and the current state of regulation. Consider the relevance of freedom of speech. Discuss the roles of technical and legislative solutions.

5.Computer-Based Crimes. Discuss the most prevalent types of computer crimes, such as Phishing. Analyze why and how these can occur. Describe protective measures that might assist in preventing or mitigating these types of crimes.

6.Government surveillance of the Internet. The 9/11 attacks on the US in 2001 brought many new laws and permits more government surveillance of the Internet. Is this a good idea? Many issues are cropping up daily in our current periodicals!

7.The Digital Divide. Does it exist; what does it look like; and, what are the ethical considerations and impact?

8.Privacy in the Workplace: Monitoring Employee Web and E-Mail Use. What are current opinions concerning monitoring employee computer use. What policies are employers using? Should this be authorized or not? Policies are changing even now!

9.Medical Privacy. Who owns your medical history? What is the state of current legislation to protect your health information? Is it sufficient? There are new incentives with federal stimulus financing for health care organizations to develop and implement digital health records.

10.Software piracy. How many of you have ever made an unauthorized copy of software, downloaded software or music (free or for a fee), or used copyrighted information without giving proper credit or asking permission? Was this illegal or just wrong? How is this being addressed?

11.Predictions for Ethical IT Dilemma in 2020. What is your biggest worry or your prediction for ethical concerns of the future related to information technology?

12.Consumer Profiling. With every purchase you make, every Web site you visit, your preferences are being profiled. What is your opinion regarding the legal authority of these organizations to collect and aggregate this data?

13.Biometrics & Ethics. Your fingerprint, retinal-vessel image, and DNA map can exist entirely as a digital image in a computer, on a network, or in the info-sphere. What new and old ethical problems must we address?

14.Ethical Corporations. Can corporations be ethical? Why or why not?

15.Social Networking. What are some of the ethical issues surrounding using new social networks? How are these now considered for business use? What are business social communities? Are new/different protections and security needed for these networks?

16.Gambling in Cyberspace. Is it legal? Are there national regulations and/or licensing? What are the oversight and enforcement requirements? Are there international implications? What are the social and public health issues?

17.Pornography in Cyberspace For example, the U.S. Supreme Court ruling protecting as free speech computer-generated child pornography

18.Medicine and Psychiatry in Cyberspace. Some considerations include: privacy issues; security; third-party record-keeping; electronic medical records; access to information, even by the patient (patient rights); access to information by outsiders without patient knowledge; authority to transfer and/or share information. Are there any policies proposed by professional organizations?

19.Counterterrorism and Information Systems Your protection versus your rights

20.Open-source Software versus Closed-source Software Ethical ramifications and impact on intellectual property law

21.Creative Commons Licenses How do they work and what are the legal and ethical impacts and concerns?

22.Universal ID Card. What is the general position of the U.S. government about issuing each individual a unique ID Card? Which individual U.S. government agencies have already provided a unique ID Card? What steps have been taken to include individual ID information electronically in passports? How is privacy and security provided?

23.Federal and State Law Enforcements Role to enforce computer-based crime.



            Introduction/statement of problem

One of the common workplace IT issues in the contemporary times is the cybercrime or computer crime. These crimes are committed by individuals and groups who have an intention of causing losses, physical, sexual or psychological harm to their victims. Cybercrimes use various information and communication technology platforms such as The Internet (emails and chat rooms) and mobile phones (MMS and SMS) to execute their crimes (McQuade, 2006). Some of the common forms of cybercrime include phishing (including using fake emails to extract private passwords), hacking, hate speech, terrorism e-mails, child pornography, and child grooming, especially to the minors. Notably, cybercrimes are not only economic but also ethical and physical crime.

The actual and potential loss as a result of the cybercrime cannot be underestimated. The global economy loses an estimated 445 billion USD annually as a result of cybercrime (CSIS, 2014). It is estimated that over 800 million globally were affected by one or more forms of cybercrime in 2013, 15 percent of whom were in America. High-profile cybercrimes were witnessed in Germany (about 16 million), Turkey (about 54 million) and China (about 20 million). In 2013, UK economy lost over 11.4 billion USD as a result of cybercrimes. The cybercrime challenge also led to the loss of jobs for over 150,000 people in Europe and 200,000 in the US (CSIS, 2014).  Indeed, the cybercrime is a great workplace and ethical problem that every manager should be aware of and must work towards curbing it. There are different approaches that have been proposing for dealing with this ethical and economic challenge. This paper will discuss how to apply decision-making framework to cybercrime using the Reynold’s seven-step approach.

            Recognizing the ethical issue

This is done by obtaining facts and figures on cybercrime. In the case of cybercrime, the decision maker should explore the available materials and reports to establish various ethical aspects involved in this crime. Establishing clear facts helps in the process of making decisions. Notably, different ethical elements in cybercrime are handled differently (Sheila & Clyde, 2010). For example, child molestation over intent can be easily dealt with by cutting communications with the offender while fraud should be dealt with as a crime. As such, recognizing and understanding the ethical issue is fundamental to the ethical decision-making process.

            Identify the involved parties

The second step in the ethical decision-making process is identifying the parties involved and the roles that they in the process. Parties may either be groups or individuals, and their role may range from facilitation to the actual implementation of the cybercrime. In most cases, the acts are committed using fake accounts or imposters who can be unmasked through detailed investigation. The decision maker should seek to know the identity and motive of the cybercrime act.

            Consider the involved parties in your decision-making process

            The decision-making process involves a number of parties who maybe directly or indirectly affected. Every decision has different consequences to the individuals or groups involved. The decision maker should be aware of different dynamics involved in the decision and should seek to promote the overall good in his decision, such as reversing a possible loss or avoiding possible fraud.

Information gathering

            At this point, the decision maker should gather and weigh the different information available in regards to his decision. Different guidelines and principle should be considered when making a decision to avoid creating another crime. Notably, the decision maker should consider the legal implications of cybercrime as well as ways of detecting and avoiding the crime (Lease & Burke, 2000). A well-informed person is more likely to make a wise decision.

            Formulate actions and alternatives

There are different actions and options available when addressing the cybercrime menace. These depend on a number of factors, such as the available information, extent of the crime, desired outputs and consequences of making a certain decision. Some of the alternative approaches include utilitarian approach (that with more good and less harm), rights approach (the decision that upholds rights for all), justice approach (which gives equal and proportional treatment to all) and the virtue approach (which portrays the kind of person the decision maker is). Notably, the different decision maker can approach the cybercrime challenge from different angles depending on who they are and what they want the society to know about them.

            Making a decision

After weighing all these options, the decision maker should narrow down to one or more decisions and act on it. Decision and actions should be made to address fully and comprehensively the issue at hand and meet the desired results.

            Reflection and evaluation of the action

The decision maker should thoroughly interrogate the results of his decision and action. The decision should meet the desired outputs, failure to which it should be reversed or modified. The ultimate goal of the decision is to yield an amicable solution to the problem. This step involves critical monitoring and evaluation in line with the predetermined objectives.

The Reynold’s seven steps decision-making framework approach is ideal for making the decision towards combating cybercrimes. It, among others, gives the decision maker opportunity to study widely on cybercrime, weigh available options, act and review the action if they meet the desired outputs. As such, one is able to make a wise decision in addressing this crime.


Center for Strategic and International Studies – CSIS, (2014). Net Losses: Estimating the Global Cost of Cybercrime Economic impact of cybercrime II Center for Strategic and International Studies – June 2014. Retrieved 25 June 2015 from

Lease, M. & Burke, T. (2000). Identity theft: A fast-growing crime. FBI Law Enforcement   Bulletin, 69, 8-14.

McQuade, S. (2006). Understanding and Managing Cybercrime. Upper Saddle River, NJ:      Pearson Education Inc

Sheila, B. & Clyde, B. (2010). Ethical Awareness in International Collaborations: A Contextual      Approach. Providence, Rhode Island: Brown University.

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