Question

Organizations must share data. As more and more corporations share information with each other, more and more vulnerabilities exist. However, consumers and employees do not completely own the data they generate depending on the context. For example, while a health record may be about you, and you have certain granted rights to view that record, you do not own the record. The vast majority of data on or about a person or company is not owned by that person or company.   

Recall the text and other readings talk about data discounts. For example, if you plug in a data logging device to your car, you may receive an insurance discount. But, who determined the correlation between certain driving behaviors (e.g., rate of acceleration) and accident likelihood? Who vetted this research as factual as opposed to someone simply enjoying their sporty automobile? What other data is collected about my driving? Location? Can this data be used against me if a claim were to arise? Could that data be subpoenaed by an opposing attorney in an accident with injuries case to attempt to identify fault? Finally, if you opt-out from data collection, is it fair to be penalized (e.g., pay a higher rate or not receive a discount)? The future of analytics-based decision making is here but is it a fair way to treat an individual; as a data point?

Write a 2-4 page paper (not including title or reference pages) with your thoughts and opinions based on what you’ve learned in this class on how the landscape of data privacy will change in the next 50 years as it relates to information systems and knowledge sharing. Include your thoughts on:

  • The role of government in data ethics, management, and security
  • The role of the organization in data ethics, management, and security
  • The role of the individual in having the freedom to choose how their data is used, levels of anonymity, and for how long their data is stored
  • What ownership rights should and shouldn’t coexist with one’s data
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Answer #1

Focusing on the technology, we can anticipate a period of major transformation.The digital progress we’ve seen recently is certainly impressive, but it’s just an indication of what’s to come.In future, the majority of digital-based communication is likely to be a mix of people-to-people, people-to-device, and device-to-device , perhaps with most communication falling into the latter category. These technology trends are likely to have an impact in the coming years. The impact may be positive or negative.

The major negative implication or threat of digital age is data privacy .Privacy issues arise not only through invasive spying regimes but also if information is ‘too’ open. Public records and data on individuals’ health or spending habits can provide valuable information for the public good, but could also be used maliciously.

The role of government

1) Develop roles and teams dedicated to the ethical use of technology.

2) Create or update policies, regulations, and standards that guide technology ethics but also allow for innovation.

3) Research, test, and collaborate with experts and stakeholders to better understand emerging technology and its ethical implications.

4) Educate and enable government employees to understand and reduce ethical risks.

The role of organisation

1) Build knowledge of emerging technologies and digital issues: to reduce risk of compromise to professional competence and due care.

2) Combine process control with a strategic view: to reduce the risk of unintended consequences.

3) Evaluate mechanisms for reporting unethical behaviour : to reduce the risk of breaches.

The role of individual

As connectivity increases access to information, it also increases the possibility for agents to act based on the new sources of information. When these sources contain personal information, risks of harm, inequality, discrimination, and loss of autonomy easily emerge. For example, your enemies may have less difficulty finding out where you are, users may be tempted to give up privacy for perceived benefits in online environments, and employers may use online information to avoid hiring certain groups of people. Furthermore, systems rather than users may decide which information is displayed, thus confronting users only with news that matches their profiles.

Although the technology operates on a device level, information technology consists of a complex system of socio-technical practices, and its context of use forms the basis for discussing its role in changing possibilities for accessing information, and thereby impacting privacy.

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