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Ethical Issues In Relevant Design Essay

1776 words - 8 pages

Most professions have an ethical guideline that most will follow and adhere too, some have more responsibility than others, the medical industry for example has a very crucial ethical standing to go with the line of work, such as patient confidentiality (2009), but that isn’t to say that ethics in other lines of work aren’t as relevant as others.

The line for what is ethically right and wrong in the design/development industry can be a little blurred at times (2007), for example graffiti could be looked at by some as offensive, whereas others may see it as creative freedom. This can cause problems for designers who have to take an extra responsibility to make sure their work is ethically ...view middle of the document...

One example of this is when a user enters a search query, e.g. “Laptops”, the browser will remember this term and use it to generate advertisements on pages related to laptops. This is known as Google AdSense.

On its launch it initially caused backlash towards Chrome as people felt like their privacy was being invaded, but as explained by Google, no data is sent back to their servers and this feature is primarily to keep advertisements relevant to the user’s interests, and also to help the companies paying to advertise reach their potential market.

A cookie is a unique identifier used by browsers to store information such as passwords and other data in putted by a user (2012), they also relay information back to the server about the pages visited and what the user did on the website.

The ethical question here is, “Is it ethical to influence a person’s purchases based on information they have provided, sometimes unknowingly?”, of course that seems like a pretty loaded question on the face of it, but Google Chrome has done a good job of helping users feel secure. On May 26th 2011, a new law was implemented (ICO, 2011) to ensure that users knew exactly what a cookie was and that the website they are visiting is using them.

A site that uses cookies must now make it visible that they do so, this is more often than not done by having a box pop up that informs the user that data will be stored, from there they can accept this or refuse it, if they accept then cookies will be stored, if not then no information will be taken from the user.

If a website is using a privacy policy, they must be satisfied with the fact that not every user will read it as they may not be able to find it or they simply choose to not read it because it can be time consuming, in fact a recent survey from 2012 shows that only 16% of people read privacy policies and of those who do only 20% actually understand them (2012).

This can be found on websites in numerous ways, when a website uses a log in system they are required to prompt the user to agree to cookie law (2012) which reminds them of how their information is stored, if they accept a cookie is created securely containing their log in details. Another example, if you go to and like an article using the Facebook Like Button, then it is Facebook, not the BBC that stores the cookie on your computer (Brock Thompson, 2011) so cookie liability is now always dependant on the site you are on at the time.

Third party cookies are an intrusive form of data collecting (2012) that is usually sold between advertisers without the user knowing. The question was, “If a user doesn’t know it is happening, how can they stop it?” (2012) fortunately Firefox took a bold step in automatically blocking third party cookies (Mozilla, 2011), admittedly this wouldn’t stop all tracking cookies used by advertisers, but most. This hadn’t been done before in the browser development world, and was seen as a true move in...

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