Information Management and Ethical Issues in Government

Information Management and Ethical Issues in Government

Bruce Rocheleau (Northern Illinois University, USA)
Copyright: © 2006 |Pages: 38
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-807-9.ch008


There are many ethical and legal issues raised by the growing of electronic informationmanagement and there is a growing literature on the development of “cyber-ethics.”There is consensus among experts that organizations need to be proactive in addressingcyber-ethics. A U.S. Treasury Department study showed that 60% of computer securityfailures come from within the organization (Stone & Henry, 2003). That fact suggests afailure of organizations to instill a sense of ethics in its employees. The turnover rate ofIT professionals has been relatively high compared to other professions and this maymake them more problematic when it comes to ethical issues (Oz, 2001). Oz’s comparativestudy of IT and other professionals found them somewhat less ethical with respect tosoftware piracy and hacking but comparable to other professionals in their attitudestoward privacy. One of the problems is that ethics is not a part of the standard ITcurriculum (Wilder & Soat, 2001), which is one reason that organizations may need toconduct active training about ethics. IT professional societies have codes of ethics suchas that of the Association for Computing Machinery that is available online. However,Linderman and Schiano (2001) argue that IT “is not a profession” because it lacksimportant characteristics of a professional, such as certification standards and “sanc-tions for unprofessional behavior.” They also point out that only 8% of IT professionalsbelong to the ACM.

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