Friday, May 02, 2008

ICT Ethics in the Workplace

Greetings from the last day of the ET GOVICT2008 conference. Mr. Mark Haughey CIO, Workplace Authority, talked on "The Uncertainty of Ethics in IT". Mark brought the conference back to reality by discussing his experience as an IT professional in the public service. He emphasized value for money and planning. I asked him he thought ICT professionals have an ethical responsibility for reducing greenhouse emission through reducing energy use. He responded that this was also a practical problem with high power servers upsetting building air conditioning by creating hotspots. Idris Sulaiman from Computers Off, pointed out there were some new guidelines on this.

Ms. Cecilia Ridgley School of Information Technology and Electrical
Engineering UNSW@ADFA, ICT Advisory Services, KPMG Canberra talked about "The Decision Disconnect - Ethics and ICT Governance". Cecilla put the ICT Governance AS8015 in the business context. She talked about the difference between hard hierarchal crystal organization structures and fluid amoebic structures.
Language, learning and leadership can be used for governance.

Dr. Daryl Macer, Regional Adviser, Regional Unit for Social and Human
Sciences (RUSHAP) in Asia and the Pacific, UNESCO, challenged our ideas of who and what ethics apply to. He used examples from science fiction, such as HAL and Japanese comic books, such as Astro Boy.
Dr. Macer related infoethics to bioethics, suggesting the work on ethics in medicine, such as the "Universal Declaration on the Human Genome and on Human Rights", could be largely applied to information technology ethics. He also mentioned the "Ethics of Energy Technologies in Asia and the Pacific Project". Unfortunately I couldn't find a web site for the project, if someone could point this out, that would be good.

Phillip N. Argy, Deputy Chairman – ACS Foundation, Chief Executive –, talked on "Trusted vs. Trustworthy – how professionalism bridges the ethics gap". He cited a software problem which caused a Boeing 777 flight out of Perth to turn back. Philip is one of the WIPO arbitrators and one of his cases I noticed was on ownership of "The Wiggles" web address.

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