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ITC506 Information Technology Ethics for Software Developer Company

Question 

Proceed according to the following instructions.

1. Identify an ethical dilemma or ethically questionable situation from one of the following four YouTube videos:
Video1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v5M7ohdZ6qA
Video2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0npm9cEJBWY
Video3: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rBfJ07gfHyc
Video4: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mugeCY3vbxo
Please include the link to the video in the references list of your assignment.
 
2. Undertake further research about the ethical issues you identified in your chosen video to assist you in analysing and discussing it in your essay.
 
3. You are required to analyse the ethical dilemma you have identified above using the Doing Ethics Technique (DET).

Answer

Q1. What's going on?

In the video titled, Early Launch, it is shown that a software developer company is to deliver a project, named Willis Project, a month early before the deadline. The program director asks the project manager to work on it and deliver the project without encryption (Youtube.com. 2017). This is because there is a lot of pressure from the CEO of the company as the project worth three million dollars. The program director thinks if the project is delivered early, Willis may sign the next contract with them. In reply to that, the project manager said that he spoke to the senior developer of the company, Jason, regarding the encryption, who thinks it is vital to encrypt the project in order to prevent unauthorized accessibility. The program director rejects the proposal of encryption and said that if they deliver the project before deadline then Willis may show up with their new contract, which he


thinks is very beneficial for their company and its associates. He further added that encryption can also be done after the delivery of the project which won’t create much problem (Borowski 2013). 

Q2. What are the facts?

The software developer company wishes to deliver the Willis Project, a month before the deadline, in order to gain more contracts from the company. The program director suggested the project manager to deliver the project without encryption. The project manager insisted on encryption as he spoke to the senior developer of the company, Jason, who thinks it is vital to encrypt in order to prevent unauthorized accessibility. The program director instantly rejects the idea of encryption, in the hope of getting more contracts from the Willis Group, which he thinks is advantageous for the company as well as the associates, as they would get lucrative bonuses. He also added encryption won’t create much problem as it can be done later also after the delivery of the project (Vasant Raval 2017). 

Q3. What are the issues(non-ethical)?

The fundamental issues are delivering the Willis project without encryption in order to gain more contracts from them but at the same time it will harm the company’s security. The early delivery of the project may be beneficial for the company as they may get more profitable projects as well as the associates will receive bonuses and incentives (Youtube.com. 2017).

Moreover, the project manager insists on encrypting the project, as it prevents unauthorized accessibility. Encryption is basically a process of encoding the project in a way so that only the authorized people would be able to access it. It not only prevents unauthorized interference but also helps maintaining the secrecy of customers’ personal information. Therefore, delivering project without encryption is risky and company may face severe consequences which include security issues (Bose 2012).

Q4. Who is affected?

A project without encryption is risky for the company, its associates and also the customers who will use the software. It will question their security issues. Encryption needs to be done for any project in order to prevent unauthorized accessibility (Markham & Buchanan 2012). The program director insisted to submit the project beforehand in order to receive more contracts from the company. This idea backfired, as the company got affected. The company and its associates’ personal information got leaked, along with several customers who used the software as encryption was not done. This drew the attention of media, questioning the Willis Group (Ciulla 2014).

In order to gain more contracts, companies may undertake certain wrong policies, which causes harm to a huge number of people. Companies may suffer severe losses as their reputation gets marred and they may end up getting no contracts at all (Schwalbe 2015).

Q5. What are the ethical issues and their implications?

The main issue is delivering the Willis project early, without encryption, in order to get more contracts from the group. According to the program director, the project’s net worth is three million dollars, which would bring in huge profit for the company. Along with that the company’s associates would also get lucrative bonuses, which is advantageous for the company itself (Bose 2012). At the same time, it has a dark side also. Early delivery of the project will lack encryption and can cause great damage to the company, its associates as well as the users. Therefore, here lies the ethical dilemma, whether to think about the company’s and its associates’ benefits or the security at large. Moreover, it will hamper the company’s image as it may end up suffering severe consequences (Markham & Buchanan 2012).

Q6. What can be done about it?

Encryption is a major issue as it helps in maintaining the secrecy of customers’ personal information. Encryption, if not done, can expose thousands of people’s sensitive information. The company would have to face the questions then. The program director must agree to the project manager’s proposal of encrypting the project and convince the CEO also (Margetts 2012). Not only the company will be able to deliver the project on time, but at the same time it will help them deliver a stable and secured product which will reflect the company’s image. It will save the company in the long run as they will gain trust from other companies as well. Moreover, they would get more and more contracts from the Willis group and from other companies as well (Ali & Green 2012).

Q7. What are the options?

The options to this are listed as follows:

  • The project manager may agree to the program director and submit the project early before the deadline without encryption, in order to gain more profit. It will end up causing severe damage to the company’s reputation.
  • The program director may ignore the project manager’s recommendation of encrypting the project. This may lead to a tussle between them. Officials may force the project manager to leave the project, as he didn’t move from his decision.
  • The program director may agree to the project manager’s recommendation and talk to the CEO regarding this, in order to convince him. Not only it will help them to deliver the project on time, but at the same time they will be able to deliver a stable and secured project. It will help the company have a good image and gain trust from others as well (Youtube.com. 2017).

Q8. Which option is the best and why?

The best option is the third one, as it will be beneficial and advantageous for the company. The program director should agree to the project manager’s proposal of encrypting the project and then submitting it. It will cut the risk of getting personal information leaked. At the same time, they will be able to submit a stable and secured project to the Willis Group and that too, on time. This will help them gain trust from other companies as well. The company will receive more and more projects, for their good image, which in turn will increase their percentage of profits (Slade & Prinsloo 2013).

References

Ali, S., & Green, P. (2012). Effective information technology (IT) governance mechanisms: An IT outsourcing perspective. Information Systems Frontiers, 14(2), 179-193.

Borowski, A. (2013). Ethical problems in study of total institutions. International Letters of Social and Humanistic Sciences, 1, 14-18.

Bose, U. (2012). An ethical framework in information systems decision making using normative theories of business ethics. Ethics and information technology, 14(1), 17-26.

Ciulla, J. B. (Ed.). (2014). Ethics, the heart of leadership. ABC-CLIO.

Margetts, H. (2012). Information technology in government: Britain and America. Routledge.

Markham, A., & Buchanan, E. (2012). Ethical decision-making and internet research: Recommendations from the aoir ethics working committee (version 2.0).

Schwalbe, K. (2015). Information technology project management. Cengage Learning.

Slade, S., & Prinsloo, P. (2013). Learning analytics: Ethical issues and dilemmas. American Behavioral Scientist, 57(10), 1510-1529.

Vasant Raval, A. (2017). Information Ethics: Information Technology and Innovation Ethics. Isaca.org. Retrieved 9 August 2017, from https://www.isaca.org/Journal/archives/2015/Volume-2/Pages/information-technology-and-innovation-ethics.aspx

Youtube.com. (2017). Scenario 3: Early Launch. YouTube. Retrieved 9 August 2017, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v5M7ohdZ6qA

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