In 1998, I was commissioned by the Institute of Business Ethics to write a guide for senior executives which explained how to embed digital ethics into corporate strategy and management (see Section 5.3). The guide concludes with (Rogerson, 1998, p. 33):
Powerful technologies always have important social and ethical implications. IT is the most powerful and most flexible technology ever devised. It can be shaped and moulded to do any activity that can be represented as inputs into logical operations resulting in outputs. The social impact of this powerful technology is growing at an increasing rate. Computers are changing the nature and location of work and indeed the whole way in which society is conducted. The IT revolution is not merely technological it is fundamentally social and ethical.
Organisations must ensure issues such as privacy, ownership, integrity of information, human interaction and community are properly considered.
Computer professionals must be trained so that they are sensitive to the power of the technology and act in a responsible and accountable manner. The adoption of a broader approach that addresses economic, technological, legal, social and ethical concerns will help to harness technology for people’s benefit, rather than allowing it to enslave or debilitate them