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Information Ethics and Security

In: Business and Management

Submitted By 41351223
Words 1093
Pages 5
Introduction
Information is a valuable corporate asset and important to our business. With regard to the situation that Brawner offers me a large sum of money for the email addresses and phone numbers of all my customers, what should I do? This essay aims to provide my response and dig out the root reasons of my business decision-making from two aspects of information ethics and information security.

Information Ethics
With the rapid development of information technology nowadays, people pay more attention to ethics and security. In recent years, many increasingly frequent corporate scandals have shed new light on the meaning of ethics and security. When the behavior of a few individuals can destroy billion-dollar organizations, the value of ethics and security should be evident. As mentioned in the case, Brawner would offer me a large amount of money in order to purchase my customer lists, which include the customers’ email addresses and phone numbers. Undoubtedly, it is neither ethical nor legal for me to accept Brawner’s money and give him the customers’ information. Specifically mentions, privacy is one of the largest ethical issues facing organizations. As for the Broadway Café shop, the email addresses and phone numbers are its customers’ privacy. Unless the Broadway can effectively address this issue of privacy, the customers might lose trust in the shop, which would hurt its business. In addition, ethical dilemmas usually arise not in simple, clear-cut situations but out of a clash between competing goals, responsibilities and loyalties. Inevitably, the decision-making process has more than one socially acceptable ‘correct decision’. In relation to the case, when Brawner offers me money in exchange for the email addresses and phone numbers, the ethical dilemma arises. Information has no ethics; therefore, it falls on the shoulders of those who own the information to develop ethical guidelines on how to manage the information. In this particular situation, if I accept Brawner’s offer and sell my customer lists to him, without doubt that I will lose customer loyalty. More seriously, I lose moral baseline and break the law. Nowadays, information technology is so pervasive in organizations that it requires its own specific policy. An organization that wants to protect its information and mitigate many of the risks of using electronic messaging systems should develop an information privacy policy and an email privacy policy. (AMA Research, 2004) As far as I can see, it is a good idea for the management of Broadway Café shop as well. For instance, the Broadway may state what activities are permitted and those which are prohibited, clearly set out how managers may treat their customers’ private information, such as email addresses and phone numbers, or establish appropriate processes or mechanisms to assure information quality and access, etc. In short, I will strive to build a corporate culture based on ethical principles that my employees can understand and implement as well as try my best to protect their privacy and confidentiality. Link to the issue which mentioned in the case, I will refuse Brawner’s offer decidedly. As a business manager, customer lists is one of my best intangible assets. Meanwhile, it is my bounden responsibility to protect my customers’ privacy. Only then can the Broadway Café shop win trust and develop better and stronger.
Information Security
Ethics and security are two fundamental building blocks for an organization. Besides ethics talked above, now I would like to focus on the aspect of information security. Since organizational information is intellectual capital, an organization must protect it. Regarding to the Broadway Café shop, the customer lists is its intellectual capital. With security breaches on the rise, we must put in place strong security measures to survive. Previously, we realized that our management strategies had been outdated. In order to continue creating competitive advantages, we have adopted information technology widely in our service such as online order, supply chain management, etc. However, without solid security processes and procedures, none of these technologies can develop business advantages. Therefore, we may implement information security lines of defense through people first and through technology second. As being the manager of the Broadway Café shop, for my part, I will set myself an example to others. When it comes to the case, I will refuse Brawner’s offer without hesitation in a large part to protect the information security of my customers. Later, I am willing to develop and spread the information security policy in my café shop. Moreover, I should identify critical information assets (e.g. customer lists, corporate culture, etc) and risks and create a feasible information security plan. For our present purposes, both user ID and password are favorable choices for us to prevent our customers’ information from being stolen or escaped. On the other hand, I will deploy numerous technologies to prevent information security breaches which include authentication, authorization and other useful information security methods. (Thomas R. Peltier, 2004) To sum up, implementing information security lines of defense through people first and through technology second is the best way for the Broadway Café shop to protect its vital intellectual capital. Combine the information security plans with feasible technologies, we Broadway Café shop will not only protect the privacy and security of our customers, but also retain reputation and goodwill for our future development. Undoubtedly, it should be an ethical and wise business decision making.

Conclusion
Valdemar Setzer had ever quoted that ‘Ethics is not definable, is not implementable, because it is not conscious; it involves not only our thinking, but also our feeling’. (www.wisdomcommons.org) As the saying goes, our human civilization is growing up through ethics, certainly in business and other ways as well. Related back to my current situation, I, the manager of the Broadway Café shop will firstly exclude Brawner’s offer unhesitatingly. Furthermore, I will adopt necessary and feasible measures step by step to protect my customers’ information privacy. Finally, if possible, I might disclose Brawner’s trading intention since it is illegal. In my opinion, making ethical decisions in business is more critical than earning profits. Meanwhile, to develop my café shop in the public interest is sovereign. Only by this way can the Broadway Café progress healthily, stably and have sustainable development.

References:

 Baltzan, Phillips, Lynch & Blakey, 2010, Business driven information systems, 1st edn, McGraw-Hill, Australia

 Thomas R. Peltier, 2004, Information Security Policies and Procedures, 2nd edn, Auerbach Publications

 AMA Research, Workplace Monitoring and Surveillance, www.amanet.org, viewed on 6th, April, 2011

 Valdemar Setzer, Search Quotes, www.searchquotes.com, viewed on 6th, April, 2011

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