The Impact of Information Technology and the Application of Ethical Theory



Much of the ethical debate about computers and information technology more generally has been informed by the ‘impact view’ of information technology. Within this tradition a number of issues have emerged as important. For example, whether compute generate new types of ethical problems that require new or different ethical theories or, whether it is just more of the same (Gorniak 1996). These debates are often expressed  in the language of the impact of information technology on particular values and rights (Johnson 1985, 1994). Thus, we have discussions on the impact of CCTV or web cookies on, the right to privacy, the impact of the digital divide on the right to access information, the impact of the piracy of software on property rights, and so forth. In these debates Jim Moor (1985) has argued that computers show up policy vacuums that require new thinking and the establishment of new policies. Others have argued that the resources provided by classical ethical theory such as utilitarianism, consequentialism and deontological ethics is more than enough to deal with all the ethical issues emerging from our design and use of information technology (Gert 1999). Irrespective of whether information technology creates new types of ethical problems that require new ethical theory or whether established ethical theory is sufficient, one tends to find the debate centered on questions of policy that is intended to regulate or justify conduct. These policies are seen, and presented as ways to regulate or balance competing rights or competing values. For example, what sort of policies do we need to protect our children when they go on the internet? How would these policies affect the right to free speech? Or, what sort of policies do we need to secure the rights of producers of digital products? How would these policies affect the right of society to a reasonable access to these products? Furthermore, these debates are most often directed at an institutional level of discourse i.e., with the intention to justify the policies or conduct for governments, organizations and individuals. In these debates, on the impact of technology, ethics and ethicists are primarily conceived as presenting arguments for justifying a particular balance, of values or rights, over and against other possibilities.


Electronic commerce, commonly known as e-commerce or e-commerce, or e-business consists of the buying and selling of products or services over electronic systems such as the Internet and other computer networks. The amount of trade conducted electronically has grown extraordinarily with widespread Internet usage. The use of commerce is conducted in this way, spurring and drawing on innovations in electronic funds transfer, supply chain management, Internet marketing, online transaction processing, electronic data interchange (EDI), inventory management systems, and automated data collection systems. Modern electronic commerce typically uses the World Wide Web at least at some point in the transaction’s lifecycle, although it can encompass a wider range of technologies such as e-mail as well.


A large percentage of electronic commerce is conducted entirely electronically for virtual items such as access to premium content on a website, but most electronic commerce involves the transportation of physical items in some way. Online retailers are sometimes known as e-tailers and online retail is sometimes known as e-tail. Almost all-, big retailers have electronic commerce presence on the World Wide Web.


Electronic commerce that is conducted between-businesses is referred to as business ­to-business or B2B. B2B can be open to all interested parties (e.g. commodity exchange) or limited to specific, pre-qualified participants (private electronic market). Electronic commerce that is conducted between businesses and consumers, on the other hand, is referred to as business-to-consumer or B2C. This is the type of electronic commerce conducted by companies such as Online shopping is a form of electronic commerce where the buyer is directly online to the seller’s computer usually via the internet. There is no intermediary service. The sale and purchase transaction is completed electronically and interactively in real‑ time such as for new books. If an intermediary is present, then the sale and purchase transaction is electronic commerce such as


Electronic commerce is generally considered to be the sales aspect of e-business. It also consists of the exchange of data to facilitate the financing and payment aspects of the business transactions.


Code of Ethics

Pretty simple, actually: We don’t post things we don’t believe. All content is editorial, never pay-to-play. We have never been paid to promote a product or service in our writings, and we don’t publish press releases, “advertorials,” or sponsored posts. (We’ve been offered, but we always refuse.) That means no quid pro quo, no “link exchange” posting, and no paid reviews. If we like something, ‘we praise it and link to it for free. If we don’t like something… that’s free too.


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Standards organization

A standards organization, standards body, standards developing organization or SDO is any entity whose primary activities are developing, coordinating, promulgating, revising, amending, reissuing, interpreting, or otherwise maintaining standards that address the interests of a wide base of users outside the standards developing organization.


Most voluntary standards are offered for use by people, regulators, or industry. When a published standard achieves widespread acceptance and dominance it can become a broader de facto standard for an industry. This has happened with the modem protocol developed by Hayes, Apple’s TrueType font standard and the PCL protocol used by Hewlett-Packard in the computer printers they produced.


Normally, the term standards organization does not include the parties participating in the standards developing organization in the capacity of founders, benefactors, stakeholders, members or contributors, who themselves may function as the standards organizations.


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