What do you think about this?

Privacy is a sticky issue for the Information Technology department. As IT professionals, we have access to practically everything stored about the organization, those who work there, and our customers. That can be a huge responsibility. The Discussion question this week asks you to talk about how you would apply what you’ve learned in the lecture this week and your textbook reading to address ethical and privacy issues that arise in your workplace.

Many people argue that the right to privacy is granted to all Americans in the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America (1789). This is the Amendment that grants the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, paper, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures. The counter argument is that this is not granting a right to privacy, but to protection against having that privacy exposed in a very limited arena (your person, property and the papers / effects that YOU own). This suggests that your workspace is not one of these places where you may expect any right to privacy. Often, organizations will have Privacy Policies that expressly and formally grant the organization permission to search everything in the workplace without your knowledge or specific consent. What do you think about this?

The other side of this is how organizations handle data about their customers. In 2016, the European Union adopted the General Data Protections Regulation (GDPR) as a way to protect the privacy of European citizens and legal residents. This may or may not affect your organization depending upon the scope and span of the business (if you don’t have customers residing in the EU, you are not affected). Now we have the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). This 2018 law is very broad and vague in the way it addresses how organizations should deal with data privacy issues. At least 18 other states in the United States are considering adopting this law in total or at least in part. You should familiarize yourself with this law.

This week, I would like for you to discussion what you’ve seen in the lecture, the textbook, and what you can find out about US privacy protection laws


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