Ethical Issues in Managing Technology in Business

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  • 0:02 Technology Issues
  • 0:29 Privacy & Monitoring…
  • 1:25 Privacy & Information Security
  • 3:40 File Sharing &…
  • 4:48 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Jennifer Lombardo
It is a challenge for companies to balance the need for technology with the elements of privacy and security. Let's analyze some ethical issues, such as information security, balancing the privacy of employees with the need for monitoring employees, file sharing, and copyright infringement.

Technology Issues

Every day, more and more companies are balancing the issues of technology with the right to privacy, information, and security. Businesses are dealing with complicated ethical issues, such as information security, balancing the privacy of employees with the need for monitoring employees, file sharing, and copyright infringement. Let's go behind the scenes at Messy Chocolates to see how this company maintains security and privacy of their information.

Privacy and Monitoring of Employees

One of Messy's concerns is in regards to how to appropriately monitor employees and their work. Employees can access websites and social media, which can waste valuable work time or lead to acting inappropriately. Messy Chocolates' executive board decided to adopt a privacy policy, which is a legal statement that reveals how the company retrieves, stores, and analyzes technology information, so that their employees will be clear about what technology is allowable and how the company will oversee the monitoring process.

Messy needs to monitor employees to make sure they are not sending or posting proprietary information through email or social media. This could result in business issues, lawsuits, or the competition stealing information. For example, one worker posted a photo of new chocolate bar flavor ideas on their Facebook, and a competitor saw it and beat them to the market.

Privacy and Information Security

Messy Chocolates' customers also have concern about their information privacy and security. The Platform for Privacy Preference Project (P3P) is one way that customers can restrict personal information being released on the Internet.

With a product such as chocolate candy, Messy Chocolates also has to be aware of their interaction with children on the Internet. The Children's Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998 (COPPA) requires that Messy Chocolates accumulate information for a child under 13 with verifiable (usually through email) consent from a parent or guardian. Messy has a well-known, kid-friendly website that introduces their chocolates through educational games. The website is run with COPPA in mind in order to maintain children's privacy.

In addition, Messy Chocolates is concerned about hackers, or cyber criminals who break into companies' private data. Messy's concern with hackers is because they have caused billions of dollars in damage to companies by destroying and stealing information. In addition, hackers can act unethically by revealing private information and conducting other unethical activities, such as the stealing of corporate secrets. For instance, Messy's online website was hacked last year, and over 10,000 of their consumers had their credit card information stolen. The invasion was extremely costly to Messy because the company had to offer each of the 10,000 consumers a free online credit monitoring program for the next two years to remedy the situation.

Unfortunately, even the most sophisticated companies have an uphill battle to protect information. Companies continually invest in the latest technology to keep hackers out and information safe. After the latest hacker disaster, Messy Chocolates began using honeypots, which is a system used by security professionals to lure hackers to a made-up website that can monitor all their movements and prevent another attack. Messy Chocolates hired a chief information officer (CIO) to handle the managing of security and privacy technology factors.

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