Last year gave us all a lot to digest, and moving forward it is important to hold a microscope to our wrongdoings to avoid such problems in the future. Scroll down to read about the most alarming instances the tech sector has witnessed in 2016, or view the slideshow:
1. Girl kills herself taking drug that website recommended
2. VW emissions cheating scandal
3. Asked to lose files needed in investigation
When backup files were needed to find out what happened in an IT investigation, a backup and restore specialist was asked by those who were being investigated to say those files were corrupt/unavailable. He demurred, as any IT professional should.
If you want to think about the responsibilities of our data custodians some more, see my blog.
4. Legal firm bills two clients for same elapsed time
An IT professional was asked to make the time tracking software for a firm of lawyers. They requested it to be built so that starting a second timer should not stop the time being totalled on any currently running one. He felt a “twinge of guilt” because he felt that billing two clients for the same elapsed time wasn’t right, but it was his job to listen to his clients.
If you have ever felt a “twinge of guilt”, you have an ethical dilemma. Check out my blog: How to handle an ethical dilemma.
5. Database lists crime of being gay
Jason worked for the US Navy creating a database that would allow Military Prosecutors to prosecute Officers for the “crime” of being gay. “Homosexual Marriage” was listed as an offense alongside Assault and Murder. He was glad the rules were repealed before the production date.
I blogged about how IT must not discriminate.
6. Underdeveloped countries’ copyright
Aown Mohammad reported problems are worse in countries where no cyber or copyright laws exist so “one can do anything in technology without being caught”. The law does not always enforce fairness. IT Professionals know an action is not always ethical just because the law allows it.
If you want more thoughts about copyright, read my blog.
7. Ryerson Students predict ethics problems with Autonomous Vehicles (AV)
As part of a contest, Ryerson, students submitted a paper that included ethical considerations. Should an AV run into a ditch and endanger the passengers or endanger pedestrians in a crosswalk? How do we program the vehicle to know if the passengers or the pedestrians should be the priority?
I am very encouraged by the awareness of this new generation. See their whole paper titled “A bump in the road”.