Computer ethics in the workplace (industry)


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Computer Ethics in The Workplace

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Computer ethics in the workplace (industry)

  1. 1. COMPUTER ETHICS IN THE WORKPLACE (INDUSTRY) Reported by: Jackielyn M. Dulce
  2. 2. Code of Ethics in a Workplace A workplace code of ethics is the result of a company analysis where practices are analyzed in light of right behavior and wrong behavior. The code of ethics defines right behavior and encourages, or requires, employees to engage in that behavior.
  3. 3. Purpose Ideally, a code of workplace ethics would be implemented for the primary purpose of encouraging ethical behavior. However, avoiding lawsuits can also be a driving force behind a code of ethics. A workplace code of ethics delineates behavior that is ethically unacceptable, and many of those unacceptable behaviors are also violations of law.
  4. 4. Content A workplace code of ethics can contain a number of areas to help avoid management dilemmas, such as potential conflicts of interest or illegal activities. In some cases, a code of ethics can define proper use of company resources. If a company is very large and has a number of subcontracts, a code of ethics could define the proper relationship between the company and its contractors.
  5. 5. For example, if sub-contracting to a company filling a government contract, you are not allowed to buy gifts or buy lunch for employees of the general contractor. This is contractually defined in a code of workplace ethics for government contracts.
  6. 6. Legal Issues Most workplace code of ethics specifically prohibits illegal behavior. Theft from a supplier would be a breach of the code of ethics because it is a clear violation of law. Other things sometimes covered in a workplace code of ethics include sexual harassment, racial harassment, discrimination, and issues relating to hostile workplace regulations.
  7. 7. Implementation In very large companies, an outside contractor or agency specializing in business ethics may be helpful in developing a code of ethics. Large organizations often have many smaller internal organizations. Those smaller organizations may not be aware of the activities and needs of other internal organizations. An outside company can sometimes see commonalities and potential conflicts between departments, and help to create an effective code of ethics.
  8. 8. Workplace and Computer Ethics Abuse Ethics in the workplace is a combination of morality and rules. Ethics involve trust between employees and the employer, and between employees. While technology (specifically computers and Internet access) can be a huge boon to any business, it can also be a major source of ethics abuse, or the temptation for abuse.
  9. 9. Appropriate Use The rules of the workplace generally state computers are to be used for work only. While you may have access to the Internet (perhaps because your office's file search function is hosted on an Internet server), that means you shouldn't use your computer for nonwork related functions such as surfing, keeping a private diary or reading Webcomics.
  10. 10. Personal Time An ethical question is whether or not you can use company equipment on personal time. For instance, if you're on your lunch break, should you be able to check your personal email account? Your workplace will often have a policy on that. However, if you're not sure, it might be best to talk to your supervisor and put the question forward.
  11. 11. Spyware A question of computer ethics and privacy falls onto management in the workplace. Spyware such as keyloggers or other programs that watch what a user is doing on a given computer are common at work. However, does the management have the right to eavesdrop on employees? It creates a breach of trust that employees aren't doing their job without an electronic babysitter, but at the same time, it provides proof that no one is misusing computers while on the job.
  12. 12. Authorization Related to privacy issues is a person's authorization to use a computer. For instance, say that you are given your own computer at work, but for some reason, you can't access your computer. Do you use a coworker's computer, or do you wait for your issue to be solved? Also, if your manager is using your computer while you're not present, is that a violation of ethics or simply a convenience for the manager? Questions about whether or not people can only use their own computer should be answered firmly.
  13. 13. Doing Harm One of the most blatant violations of computer ethics in the workplace is to use the computer to do harm. This could be done by hacking into another person's computer and deleting important files, by spreading computer viruses through the office network or a variety of other potential options for causing havoc. Intent is a part of doing harm, but even if you cause harm accidentally, you may still be ethically in the wrong.