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- Created 2012-02-26
has been defined as "the branch of ethics that focuses on the relationship between the creation, organization, dissemination, and use of information, and the ethical standards and moral codes governing human conduct in society". It provides a critical framework for considering moral issues concerning informational
, moral agency (e.g. whether artificial agents may be moral), new environmental issues (especially how agents should behave in the
), problems arising from the life-cycle (creation, collection, recording, distribution, processing, etc.) of information (especially ownership and copyright,
). Information ethics is related to the fields of
philosophy of information
Dilemmas regarding the life of information are becoming increasingly important in a society that is defined as "the information society". Information transmission and literacy are essential concerns in establishing an ethical foundation that promotes fair, equitable, and responsible practices. Information ethics broadly examines issues related to ownership, access, privacy, security, and community.
Information technology affects common issues such as copyright protection, intellectual freedom, accountability, privacy, and security. Many of these issues are difficult or impossible to resolve due to fundamental tensions between Western moral philosophies (based on rules, democracy, individual rights, and personal freedoms) and the traditional Eastern cultures (based on relationships, hierarchy, collective responsibilities, and social harmony). The multi-faceted dispute between
and the government of the
People's Republic of China
reflects some of these fundamental tensions.
Professional codes offer a basis for making ethical decisions and applying ethical solutions to situations involving information provision and use which reflect an organization’s commitment to responsible information service. Evolving information formats and needs require continual reconsideration of ethical principles and how these codes are applied. Considerations regarding information ethics influence “personal decisions, professional practice, and
”. Therefore, ethical analysis must provide a framework to take into consideration “many, diverse domains” (ibid.) regarding how information is distributed.
The main, peer-reviewed, academic journals reporting on information ethics are the
Journal of the Association of Information Systems
, the flagship publication of the Association of Information Systems, and
Ethics and Information Technology
, published by Springer.
from Wikipedia (last updated: 23 May), licensed under
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Thomas Froehlich, A brief history of information ethics
Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility
IEG, the Information Ethics research Group at Oxford University
International Center for Information Ethics
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