The end of the good times

Simon G. Davies


Information Technology (IT) involves a range of costs and vulnerabilities, both to the institutions that use it, and to society in general. Recent experience indicates that the negative influences of IT – and even the mere perception of negative effects – will be accepted by any community to only a limited extent. Beyound this point, constraints will be externally applied to regulate the IT industry. In order to avoid costly and intrusive regulatory controls, the IT industry must move quickly to assess its impact on society. It must then develop and apply practicable and enforceable ethical principles based on a new relevant ethical matrix. This paper explores the variety of negative influences of IT, the forces which will ultimately constrain the industry, and the steps which may be taken to cope with these.