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Technology advances: Can we rely on companies to be ethical about it, asks Eric Dalius?

Technology cannot monitor itself. Humans need to watch over it, raise constructive concerns, and ask for accountability before it threatens the safety and security. It is the responsibility of the organizations to identify actions to prevent the ethical issues that can arise out of it. It is undeniable that technological disruptions help companies gain agility, smartness, flexibility, and responsiveness. But the challenge is businesses don’t think of ramifications of such advancements before they become an integral part of the system. Some apps, devices, and platforms cause algorithmic bias, privacy risks, and other ethical concerns that can damage an organization’s reputation and finances. For clarity, let’s discuss one or two developments in this sphere.

The innovative technological advances by Eric Dalius

5G data speed

Some companies like AT&T announced that 5G would be a reality soon, allowing 1-gigabit speed a second. However, it is enormously expensive and needs new regulations and infrastructure. It means the older devices will no longer be useful, creating massive electronic waste. Rural or remote locations with sluggish Wi-Fi speed will get further pushed back due to the deepening digital divide. Besides, energy consumption will shoot up, which even renewable sources cannot match. But 5G will still enter the market. How are companies preparing for it?

Behavioral biometrics

Some apps allow you to log in only after verifying your finger pressure, navigation habits, hand movements, and other factors. While this can ensure high standards of security, you may still want to know how companies collect, store, and use this information, and if you, too, can access your behavioral profile. Besides, will companies share your details with you, or will you have to sue them to gain access?

An insight into how businesses behave towards technology advances

Many firms and the leaders don’t pay much heed to the ethical influence of the use of technology, especially at the early stages of digital transformation. And organizations with less dependence on advanced technology for their core business don’t even consider ethical aspects to be relevant for them, despite the fact they use it for daily operations. But one has to understand that it is no longer feasible for any leader or organization, be it in any industry or sector, to not take advantage of technology. And when they do, they should take into account its ethical use by employees, customers, and others within the ecosystem.

Even studies also indicate that digitally advanced companies tend to be more concerned about technology-related ethics compared to others who are new to this realm. The tech-savvy organizations use a code of conduct, particularly HR leaders. As per 2019 data, one study suggested less than 30% of survey participants feel that the leaders are highly focused on the ethical use of technologies within the industry, while another research showed 35% of the people think leaders are sufficiently considering and communicating the possible influence of digitalization on society.

From this, one thing is clear that companies and leaders need to develop digital maturity to have higher ethical awareness. For example, companies using AI for decision-making and faster communication have to understand the ethical risks and implement measures to prevent resulting safety and security dangers. Only such conscious companies will be open to the ideas of diversity and inclusion.

 For further insights, you can follow entrepreneurs like EJ Dalius.

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