Organizational Policy paper

Organizational Policy paper

IFSM 304 – Ethics in the Information Age
Learning Portfolio Assignment Descriptions
Here are the detailed Assignment Requirements and Summary (Reflection Paper) that comprise  activities for a Learning Portfolio for IFSM 304.  These activities, along with class discussion and any other assignments your professor may require will enable you to achieve the course objectives and demonstrate knowledge of key concepts and apply this understanding to real-world digital ethics topics and situations.  Understand that your work will comprise a Learning Portfolio for the course and these assignments are linked!  You will be faced with work that advances with a progression from a general basic framework for decision making to more specific analysis and critical thinking about more complex ethical issues.
Current Events 5%
Conference Posting of articles on IT-related Ethical Global issues (multi-national corporation)

The purpose of this assignment is to analyze a current event article on global ethical issues from a multi-national corporation perspective. This assignment is designed to increase your knowledge from a corporate viewpoint and enable you to analyze ethical issues from a current GLOBAL situation or event. This will also enhance your research and writing skills and your critical-thinking abilities.

Select a current topic (2010 source or later) and find an appropriate article on the topic.  Provide the persistent URL (one that anyone can click on to read the original article) or paste the article in the Conference or provide the article as an attachment. The following elements must be addressed:
•    Summarize its key points
•    Analyze its multi-national and global aspects
•    Determine three critically important questions you would like to address regarding the article
Post this assignment into the conference discussion area “Current Events” designated by your instructor. Use APA reference citations for all sources. In addition to critical thinking and analysis skills, your analysis should reflect appropriate grammar and spelling, good organization, and proper business-writing style. The instructor will provide your Grade and individual comments in the Assignment Folder.

Paper A: Project Description (15%)
Apply decision making frameworks to IT-related ethical issues

There are four common approaches to ethical decision making elaborated in your textbook (Chapter 1, Table 1-5; see also Appendix A) which help decision makers find the right balance concerning the acceptability of their actions. (Note:  these approaches are also elaborated further in WebTycho Course Module I.)  For this paper, the following elements must be addressed:

•    Describe a current IT-related ethical issue; and define a problem statement
•    Apply the decision-making process—see especially the Framework in Reynolds, pp. 16 – 20.  Note:  A framework provides a methodical approach for developing a problem statement, identifying alternatives, evaluating and choosing alternatives, and implementing the decision, and evaluating results.
•    Consider the impact of the decision on you, your organization, stakeholders,  your customers and suppliers, and he environment
•    State the approach that comes closest to your ethical decision an dprovide your rationale using one of the four common approaches.

This process may be applied to real-world situations.  First, apply the model; then use one of the four common approaches in implementing your decision.
Here are some suggested issues-
1.    Privacy on the Web. What is happening now in terms of privacy on the Web? Think about recent abuses and improvements. Describe and evaluate Web site policies, technical and privacy policy protections, and current proposals for government regulations.
2.    Personal Data Privacy Regulations in Other Countries. Report on personal data privacy regulations, Web site privacy policies, and governmental/law enforcement about access to personal data in one or more countries; e.g., the European Union.  This is especially relevant as our global economic community expands and we are more dependent on non-US clients for e-business over the Internet.
3.    Spam. Describe new technical solutions and the current state of regulation. Consider the relevance of freedom of speech. Discuss the roles of technical and legislative solutions.
4.    Computer-Based Crimes. Discuss the most prevalent types of computer crimes, such as Phishing.  Analyze why and how these can occur. Describe protective measures that might assist in preventing or mitigating these types of crimes.
5.    Government surveillance of the Internet. The 9/11 attacks on the US in 2001 brought many new laws and permits more government surveillance of the Internet. Is this a good idea?
6.    The Digital Divide. Does it exist; what does it look like; and, what are the ethical considerations and impact?
7.    Privacy in the Workplace: Monitoring Employee Web and E-Mail Use. What are current opinions concerning monitoring employee computer use. What policies are employers using? Should this be authorized or not?
8.    Medical Privacy. Who owns your medical history? What is the state of current legislation to protect your health information? Is it sufficient?  There are new incentives with federal stimulus financing for health care organizations to develop and implement digital health records.
9.    Software piracy. How many of you have ever made an unauthorized copy of software, downloaded software or music (free or for a fee), or used copyrighted information without giving proper credit or asking permission? Was this illegal or just wrong? How is this being addressed?
10.    Predictions for Ethical IT Dilemma in 2020. What is your biggest worry or your prediction for ethical concerns of the future related to information technology?
11.    Consumer Profiling. With every purchase you make, every Web site you visit, your preferences are being profiled. What is your opinion regarding the legal authority of these organizations to collect and aggregate this data?
12.    Biometrics & Ethics. Your fingerprint, retinal-vessel image, and DNA map can exist entirely as a digital image in a computer, on a network, or in the infosphere.  What new and old ethical problems must we address?
13.    Ethical Corporations. Can corporations be ethical? Why or why not?
14.    Social Networking.  What are some of the ethical issues surrounding using new social networks?  How are these now considered for business use?  What are business social communities?  Are new/different protections and security needed for these networks?
15.    Gambling in Cyberspace.   Is it legal?  Are there national regulations and/or licensing?  What are the oversight and enforcement requirements?  Are there international implications?  What are the social and public health issues?
16.    Pornography in Cyberspace  For example, the U.S. Supreme Court ruling protecting as free speech computer-generated child pornography
17.    Medicine and Psychiatry in Cyberspace.   Some considerations include:  privacy issues; security; third-party record-keeping; electronic medical records; access to information, even by the patient (patient rights); access to information by outsiders without patient knowledge; authority to transfer and/or share information.  Are there any policies proposed by professional organizations?
18.    Counterterrorism and Information Systems  Your protection versus your rights
19.    Open-source Software versus Closed-source Software  Ethical ramifications and impact on intellectual property law
20.    Creative Commons Licenses  How do they work and what are the legal and ethical impacts and concerns?
21.    Universal ID Card.   What is the general position of the U.S. government about issuing each individual a unique ID Card?  Which individual U.S. government agencies have already provided a unique ID Card?  What steps have been taken to include individual ID information electronically in passports?  How is privacy and security provided?
22.    Federal and State Law Enforcement’s Role to enforce computer-based crime.

(Thanks to Professor Julie Mehan and John Thoren for these ideas!)
Select one of these leading ethical issues to explore using the decision-making framework.  Please be specific about the issue that you are focusing on in your narrative. Prepare a minimum 3- 5 page, double-spaced paper and submit it to your Assignments Folder as an attached Microsoft Word file.  Remember to select one of the four common approaches to ethical decision making [elaborated in your textbook (Chapter 1, Table 1-5; see also Appendix A)] and explain why you chose that approach—how it fits with the issue—to help decision makers find the right balance concerning the acceptability of their actions.
Indicate appropriate American Psychological Association (APA) reference citations for all sources you use.  In addition to critical thinking and analysis skills, your paper should reflect appropriate grammar and spelling, good organization, and proper business-writing style.
Paper B1-Privacy-Related Matrix (12%)

This assignment gives you an opportunity to analyze a key IT-related organizational ethical issue subject to relevant laws, regulations, and policies. Chapter 4 of your textbook provides an excellent backdrop for issues relating to privacy protection and the law. This includes sub-topics discussing information privacy, privacy laws, applications and court rulings (case law is usually an extension of the basic law), and key privacy and anonymity issues.

Using the template below and the list of suggested topics from Chapter 4, Reynolds text, pp. 132 – 144, produce a matrix mapping a key organizational ethical issue and how this issue is affected by laws, regulations and policies. For example, as our global community expands and as we grow more dependent on non-US clients for e-business over the Internet, we must be aware of policies and governmental/law enforcement actions concerning access to personal data in one or more countries (e.g. the European Union).

Prepare the matrix and submit it to your Assignment Folder on the due date indicated in your Course Syllabus—Course Schedule. This matrix will assist you in outlining key attributes of the law, regulation, and policy(ies), and will be essential for the second-half of this assignment to develop a policy to address the organization’s ethical issue, B2.  Indicate appropriate APA reference citations for all sources.  In addition to critical thinking and analysis skills, your assignment should reflect appropriate grammar and spelling, good organization, and proper business-writing style.
To use the matrix you must choose any three (only three) of the following list of twelve (12) principles of normative ethics:
Autonomy: the duty to maximize the individual’s right to make his or her own decisions.
Beneficence: the duty to do good both individually and for all.
Confidentiality: the duty to respect privacy of information and action.
Equality: the duty to view all people as moral equals.
Finality: the duty to take action that may override the demands of law, religion, and social customs.
Justice: the duty to treat all fairly, distributing the risks and benefits equally.

Non-maleficence: the duty to cause no harm, both individually and for all.

Understanding/Tolerance: the duty to understand and to accept other view points if reason dictates doing so is warranted.
Publicity: the duty to take actions based on ethical standards that must be known and recognized by all who are involved.
Respect for persons: the duty to honor others, their rights, and their responsibilities. Showing respect others implies that we do not treat them as a mere means to our end.
Universality: the duty to take actions that hold for everyone, regardless of time, place, or people involved. This concept is similar to the Categorical Imperative.
Veracity: the duty to tell the truth.
Using the chosen dilemma and the three principles of normative ethics you selected from the above list, complete the ethical matrix.

Use the Table Tool in MS Word (or copy and paste this format) to develop the following ethical matrix:
Ethical dilemma:
Step 1:  Identify the ethical dilemma based on one of the broad categories identified. An example (following here) might be to falsify your personal profile in a social networking site.
Step 2: Identify the stakeholders involved. You, someone who reads your personal profile in a social network site, potential employers, etc.
Step 3:  Choose any three of the principles that might apply such as autonomy, publicity, and veracity.
Step 4: identify how the dilemma affect each stakeholder based on the principles you identified. Put this statement in the matrix next to the stakeholder.
For example:
Ethical dilemma: falsifying  your profile on a social networking site
Stakeholders    autonomy    Publicity    veracity
1: You    You have the duty to maximize the right to make your own decisions.
You have the duty to take actions based on ethical standards that must be known and recognized by all who are involved.
You have the duty to tell the truth
2:Other users of the networking site    They have the duty to make their own decisions    They make these decisions based on ethical standards that should be recognized by the person falsifying their profile    They assume that the person falsifying the profile has the duty to tell the truth.
3: The social networking site    The autonomy of the site is limited by law (Goldman, 2007)    Users of social networking sites are content publishers, as such the site must take actions based on legal and ethical standards and must notify users of these standards so they are known by all.    As providers of content the site must conform to the laws regarding truth or be held responsible for legal issues as defamation (making harmful false statements about someone else) or copyright infringement. (Goldman, 2007)


Goldman, E. (May, 2007). Social Networking Sites and the Law. Retrieved from
The completed matrix allows you to weigh the different issues involved and assign a rank as to the importance of the actions based on the effect on the stakeholders. Submit the matrix for grading in your Assignments Folder.  Include the following explanation below the matrix:
1) why I chose the dilemma;
2) why I chose the three principles; and
3) an analysis of the research used to identify the actions in the matrix.
This assignment is directly related to Paper-B2 below. Make sure you read the B2 assignment so that you understand the relationship prior to starting B1.
Paper B2- Organizational Policy to address an IT-related ethical issue that you wrote about in your matrix for the B1 assignment (Individual) (12%)

Write an organizational policy to address the IT-related ethical issue that you described in Matrix B1, where you mapped key organizational issues and identified how these ethical issues were affected by laws, regulations and policies. For this assignment, you will write an organizational policy that specifically addresses that ethical workforce issue. Please incorporate the instructor’s feedback from the review and grade and then use the Matrix B1 you produced as a supporting document.

There are many IT ethical challenges in the 21st century. As a result, there are constant clashes between organizational and personal policy issues in the workforce.  For example, Chapter 8 of your Reynolds’ textbook looks at trade-offs between the standard of living and worker productivity. This is only one example of a potential ethical conflict when differences arise between our organizational and personal beliefs. The following elements must be addressed:

•    Look at other policies to see how they are written
•    Use the current ethical IT-related workforce issue you developed in the B – 1 Matrix; research its related organizational policy. Describe how your policy—the one you are writing for this assignment (What’s in it for me?  How/why?)—will help the organization and describe its positive or negative consequences
•    Document any conflicts that may arise between organizational and personal ethical beliefs that this policy—the one you are writing for this assignment—may impose on you
•    Does your organizational policy imply a commitment to ethical professional conduct of its members (e.g. code of conduct)?
•    What happens when your policy is not followed?
Prepare a 3-5 page, double-spaced paper describing your thought process as you developed the matrix, and submit it to your Assignments Folder as an attached Microsoft Word file. This assignment requires a minimum of three external clickable references in addition to your textbook. Indicate appropriate APA reference citations for all sources you use.  In addition to critical thinking and analysis skills, your paper should reflect appropriate grammar and spelling, good organization, and proper business-writing style.
C – 1  Assignment – Topic Selection – Research on an existing or emerging technology and related ethical issues (3%)

•    Topic Title – Begin with a topic title that describes what you’re writing about
•    Explain briefly—one paragraph should be sufficient—why you selected this topic.
•    Determine three critically important questions you would like to address regarding your topic when you complete your research for the C – 2 Narrative.
o    The objective in developing and posing these questions is to stage your research and writing for the final C – 2 Issues Paper so that one or more ethical principles are applied and explained as a result of your research.
o    This process helps you establish a thesis for your research.
•    Provide at least three proposed reference sources, at least two of which must be from the UMUC library databases.
•    Submit your topic selection and three questions as a combined Microsoft Word document–upload as an attachment in your assignment folder “C1Topic.”  Include a written description—1 or 2 sentences as a brief paragraph—for each question that includes why that question is critically important.  These questions will form the thesis and starting point for your research and final written assignment, the Ethical Issue in Information Technology.  Remember:  the emphasis on this paper is on digital technology and the ethical issue(s) with its use!

Remember; include a cover page and follow all APA formatting requirements.

For the first and second parts of this assignment (C1), treat this as an individual assignment as you research an existing or emerging IT-related technology using the Web.   Following are some topic ideas you may want to select for this assignment.  Be sure to keep in mind the technology aspects of this assignment are different from Paper A (IT-related issues in general that are more ethical problems that are resolved through organizational and policy solutions).

Information Technology – Ethical Issues that Arise Because of the Technology:
The Internet: search engines, filtering, pornography, access, etc.

Databases: data mining, privacy, security, etc.

Communication: e-mail, social networking, monitoring, etc.

Gaming: regulation, violence, addiction, gender stereotyping, educational games, etc.

The IT Industry: intellectual property, e-waste, software piracy, etc.
Recommended Source:

You must secure prior approval of your topic (C – 1) from the instructor before proceeding with your research!
Paper C-2 – Individual research on existing or emerging technology and related ethical issues (Individual) (12%)
This is the second part of a three-part assignment, an individual assignment to research existing or emerging technology and its ethical impact using the Web.  You are required to select an individual topic (see suggestions below) and submit your choice to the instructor for review and approval.  Ensure that your research addresses the ethical issues of an existing or emerging technology!  Submit the completed assignment to your appropriate Assignment Folder on the due date indicated in the course syllabus. Note:  An important part of your final paper must include a one page synopsis of the topic selection. You should state why you feel this is important and describe any supporting resources you found supporting your choice.

Prepare a minimum 3- 5 page, double-spaced paper and submit it to your Assignments Folder as an attached Microsoft Word file. Indicate appropriate (APA) reference citations for all sources you use.  In addition to critical thinking and analysis skills, your paper should reflect appropriate grammar and spelling, good organization, and proper business-writing style.

The instructor will assign groups for the third part.  Meantime, post your topic selection for your Study Group—the one-page synopsis should suffice—for further collaboration in preparation for a group presentation.   Post your review and analysis paper as an attachment in Collaborative Docs in your Study Group so others can read further detail to develop more information in addition to the synopsis you previously provided.

PowerPoint C3 – Study group presentation of research on existing or emerging technology and related ethical issues (Group) (15%)

Work in your assigned groups for this assignment as it is a continuation of the individual activity (C1) on researching an existing or emerging technology and its related ethical issues. To satisfy this assignment, each assigned study group will need to gain consensus on the final topic drawing from the topics each member researched individually which will then be used as the single topic for the group presentation. Group members must review each individual topic submitted as Paper C1 and C2 (the synopsis version should make this easier) and select a candidate topic which will be used as the group presentation. The ability to gain consensus to work as a group and collaborate is vital to the success of this assignment!

The group presentation will be developed using MS Office PowerPoint and will include:
•    1 Title slide including names of all group members
•    1-2 Introductory slides providing an overview of the topic selected and rationale for selection
•    5-8 slides providing research results on emerging technologies and related issues
•    2 slides on summary/conclusion
•    1 – Reference slide
Use the notes portion of PowerPoint to elaborate on key points as needed. Remember to cite sources using proper APA format and provide direct link. Ensure that your source comes from a reputable source. Do NOT submit research taken from Wikipedia sources, blogs, or sources with no date and/or author. Please refer to the course syllabus for the due date. Once all presentations are posted, there will be a follow-on conference where students can remark on each group’s presentation. This is to be done in a respectful manner and is meant to provide students with positive and constructive feedback, and have the class benefit from other groups’ different research topics and conclusions.

Paper D – Reflective piece/paper on class learning (10%)

Consider this as a reflective piece on class learning as it applies to ethics in information technology. It describes your Ah-ha moment. I hope this course made you think about the ethical trade-offs that occur in our personal and work lives and how we go about making our ethical choices. You can use the ideas you learned from this course; how you will synthesize what you learned from your research about your topic including – over-arching issues, readings, discussion from class, and conclusions from other assignments that apply to your research.
Please address the following elements:

•    From a class learning perspective, what were some of your “take-aways?”
•    How has this impacted your understanding of the ethical issues?
•    What will you do differently?
•    How has what you have learned in this course influenced your career?
•    As we continue to move toward a global community, what new challenges might we see relating to ethics in IT?
You are to prepare a reflective piece of not more than 2-3 pages, double-spaced and submit it to your Assignments Folder as an attached Microsoft Word file.

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