Information technology professionals provide a key role in eBusiness
Ethical and security concerns arise that need to be handled immediately instead of pushing it off to human resources department.
An area related to eBusiness ethics is the handling of information that IT comes in contact with on a regular basis. Issues arise quickly with-in an organization where the appropriate action needs to occur immediately when it comes to ethics or security of data related to privacy. Employees
do not have the luxury of waiting to speak with Human Resources. See story
A Question Of Ethics, Information Week, 2/19/01
Information technology folks are at the very core of the data that is key to our lives, and as such it is extremely important that management realize this fact, and have an ethics policy which includes more than a one hour training session. Ethics needs to be at the core of the company; a way of life.
In addition, it is a good idea to have a “checks and balances” system in place for all aspects of the business. There have been instances in which employees have had access to private information collection in which the data was sold in the market place. See stories on Out-Law.com.
Companies need to incorporate tighter controls with-in their own organization. For instance, with USB memory sticks and flash drives available to anyone, an unethical employee could copy the information on a memory stick, CD, or DVD and walk right out the door with out anyone knowing. Or, they could send an E-mail outside the organization, with a list of names or private and confidential information. Imagine all the mortgage, banking, and broker companies that have key data on individuals such as: social security numbers, names and addresses, drivers license numbers, credit card numbers, and bank accounts. Think how easily information could fall into the wrong hands.
Is it any wonder we have heard of US institutions that use other countries for customer service issues, and then find out later that there was a security breach with hundreds of thousands of personal data being sold for identity theft and credit card theft.
So, no matter what the size of your company, implement a standard of ethics that is more than one hour long. Make it a way of life!