Ethical Dilemma in Technology

ETHICAL DILEMMA IN TECHNOLOGY

Ethical Dilemma inTechnology

EthicalDilemma in Technology

Technology is increasing taking over in our lives. There are varioustechnological developments today that have enhanced our lives, at thesame time presenting ethical issues. The use of autonomous roboticsby the military is one area in technology use that raises questionsof ethics. In addition, the use of CCTV camera to enhance security ofthe people in cities has presented a concern on the invasion ofprivacy. This essay will look at the two ethical issues in technologyuse.

The use of semi autonomous robotics in the military is not able todistinguish between an enemy and an innocent. This is largely becausecomputer programs lacks the ability to differentiate between acombatant and a non-combatant especially in close contact, and maythus end up killing of innocent people. Coalition forces inAfghanistan for example used MQ1 Predator and MQ9 Reaper which causeddeaths of innocent civilians (Sharkey, 2008).

The use of robots in the military is meant to enhance fight againstinsurgencies while minimizing the exposure of the military personnelto the combatants. However, this causes harm to innocent lives whenrobotics is exposed to close contact situation (Sharkey, 2008). Inutilitarianism theory, an action is considered right or wrong due tothe general good or harm that it presents. In some instances,utilitarians may break the norm or rule to achieve good. This is thecase of use of robotics in the military as it is meant not to harmcivilians but combatants, but in the process there are exceptionswhen civilians come to contact with them. Fortunately, militaryprofessions usually control the semi automated robotics and may havegreater control on their target.

The use of Closed-Circuit Television (CCTV) as a form of enhancingsecurity raises various ethical issues, particularly the right toprivacy. The constitution guarantees personal privacy. Consequently,the use of CCTV violates these rights. Even though they are meant toenhance security in the city, some people perceive them as invadingtheir privacy.

For example there was a case in the UK, a place where the use of CCTVis intense. The case involved one Mr. Geoffrey Peck, a 42 year oldcitizen who was caught on CCTV cameras installed by Brentwood BoroughCouncil cutting his wrists using a knife. The CCTV operator contactedpolice who responded and rescued Mr. Peck. This footage later foundthemselves in the media with led Mr. Peck to sue the council and themedia for violation of privacy (Outlaw.com, n.d).

According to deontology, an action is deemed right if it follows agiven rule or principle. As such, the use of CCTV violates the setrules in protection of personal privacy, hence unethical. To addressthis issue, the governments have revisited their privacy policies andthe use of CCTV. Whereas CCTV are used for security of the citizens,no such information may be provided to a third party or used for anyother purpose apart for the security of the people without theauthority or consent from the individual (Webster,2009).

Conclusively, technology use has been in the rise. Its use hasenhanced the way we communicate, work, and interact and all aspectsof life. Use of semi automated robotics enhances security so does theuse of CCTV. However, their use causes serious ethical dilemmas.Proper use of these technologies, with proper policies can have greatbenefit to the lives of people.

References

Outlaw.com (n.d). CCTV footage of suicide attempt violates humanrights. Retrieved http://www.out-law.com/page-3290 (AccessedDecember 14, 2014).

Sharkey, N. (2008 Dec., 19). The ethical Frontiers of Robotics.Science 322(5909). Retrieved http://www.sciencemag.org(Accessed December 12, 2014).

Webster, C. W. R. (2009). CCTV policy in the UK:reconsidering the evidence base. Surveillanceand Society, 6(1),10-22.