- Many people think that the ethical issues raised by new technologies are just the same issues in a new form. Do you agree or disagree? Has technology created a new class of ethical issues?
- I believe that the same basic set of ethics can be applied to technology that has been used in the past, but new technology has the ability to raise ethical questions that have not previously been imagined. Often, this can be a matter of degree. For example, we might be comfortable stating that the act of physically following someone around without their knowledge in order to learn about their personal habits is unethical, but is it more unethical than using tracking cookies, which accomplish the same goal somewhat less invasively?
- What are the difficulties raised by creating new laws and regulations to solve these issues?
- One of the biggest challenges of creating new laws to address technology ethics issues is that lawmakers tend not to be very technologically literate, as was made apparent recently when Mark Zuckerberg was questioned by congress. Additionally, lawmakers tend to be beholden to corporate interests, who will nearly always prioritize successful commerce over individual liberty. Lawmakers are creating policy to regulate technology they don’t really understand, and most of the opinions they hear on the issue tend to prioritize business interests.
The ethical issues raised by new technology vary from similar to different in comparison with older versions as some of the features tend to remain the same and therefore similar questions are asked. However, new technology does bring up some new issues due to the increase in acquisition of private information from users. If a user texts another user about his/her interest in a product then later on views ads on the product while using the same application, the issue of privacy restrictions online is raised; said issue would not have been relevant with previous versions of the application.
The difficulties raised by creating new laws to solve these issues lies in the rigidity of the laws. Most countries’ constitutions do not make amendments on a yearly or rather monthly basis in regards to new technology so as to maintain a semblance of consistency this coupled with lawmakers’ lack of understanding of technological issues creates some challenging obstacles in solving said issues.
• Many people think that the ethical issues raised by new technologies are just the same issues in a new form. Do you agree or disagree? Has technology created a new class of ethical issues?
I would disagree with the statement that ethical issues raised by new technologies are just the same issues in a new form. Digital technology and the Internet have created tools and functions that have not been seen before. For example, Social Media platforms. There are a vast number of potential issues that can arise from the use of social media. Both from an organizational and personal standpoint. In the past, office politics and differing opinions were usually kept within the office. In today’s world issues in the office can be shared with a click of button. Potential issues like this pushes an organization to have solutions to many more problems. Although many ethical standards stem from the same subjects, ethics in technology must be looked through a different viewpoint.
• What are the difficulties raised by creating new laws and regulations to solve these issues?
The difficulties that could be raised in creating new laws and regulations to solve these issues relates to infringement on citizens rights. For example, if a company implements a social media policy and prohibits their employees from using social media (to avoid ethical issues), that could be a violation of freedom of speech. When creating laws and policies, it is important to consider freedom and equity.