Ethical Issues of the Use of Drones

2872 words (11 pages) Essay in Military

18/05/20 Military Reference this

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Executive Summary

  1. Introductions

The advancement of technology is occurring rapidly. Technology have enabled drone to be easily accessible for the publics. Drone have brought many benefits to a wide range of fields, such as firefighter, hospital, police, journalist, courier, etc. However, it also has raised many discussions about its ethical values. Some people are worried about how drones were used by the government for war, and surveillance and some people are worried about how other people can easily capture private information by flying the drones around.

This report will discuss the ethical issues that are associated with the use of drones. This report will be divided into two main sections: Stakeholder Ethics and International Code of Conducts. The first section will discuss about its ethical issues, stakeholders’ perspective, principle, and own personal view. The second part of the section will discuss about the code of ethics for Information Technology industry bodies. Afterward, there will be discussion about the similarities and differences between industry bodies.

2.0           Ethical Issue on military use

The first ethical concern of drones is military use. It is widely known that government, particularly US Government, have used drones for war and surveillance. Remote drone, or (UAV) Unmanned Armed Vehicle known as the Predators were extensively used for surveillance in 1999. In 2001, the UAV known as the predators were armed with Hellfire missiles and it was first tested in February. Later In 2004, the UAV was used to kill a suspected Pakistani al-Qaeda in South Waziristan (Coll 2014).

2.0.1  Stakeholders

 

A)    Government

Military is part of the government, every action done by the Military, represent the government.

The government believes that drone can offer a very efficient solution, drones can be operated remotely from locations far removed from their targets, operating them carries no risk of casualties among American Armed Services personnel. Furthermore, they are said to have measurable, precise effects, and because their use costs less than plausible alternatives.

 

B)    Civilians

The USA government have launched 49 drones strike between 2004 and 2008 which was authorized by President George W. Bush. The drone strikes under the Presidency of Barrack Hussein Obama II have increased multiple times, between 2009 and 2015, there are 364 confirmed drone strikes (Kreps and Zenko 2014). Between those year, the reported innocent civilian killed are 384 to 807. All the civilians killed are impact of collateral damage from the missiles.

2.0.2  Ethical View

 

Stakeholders

Ethical Views

Reasons

Government

Consequentialism

The missile launched by the USA Government was targeted to the terrorist, which was the right thing to do. However, due to the impact from the missile, some of the innocent civilians were killed which is unethical.

Civilians

Relativism

There is no single ethical truth, the cultural background of the civilians will determine how they perceive the issue as ethical or unethical.

 

 

2.0.3  Personal Point of View

My personal point of view in this case is Consequentialism, USA government did the right thing by using armed drones to attack the terrorist, they did that to protect their country from the future terrorism act. However, the fact that hundreds of innocent civilians were killed in the process are very unethical things to do.

2.1 Privacy concerns

The second ethical concern of drones is privacy concerns. Drones are cheap, they are accessible to many users. It is predicted, that by 2020, there will be at least 30,000 Drones flying in USA, serving a wide range of public, private, and commercial functions (Leahy 2013). In result, the use of civil drone is difficult to pin down, given the drone’s diverse capability and applications. Drones can be used to capture personal information, in form of video, and audio. It can capture images of person intentionally or unintentionally, this can provide many information about the affected person, such as location, body characteristics and behavior (Finn et al. 2013).

2.1.1 Stakeholders

A)  Drone Pilot

According to US Department of Transportation, there are 1 million registered drone, 878 thousand of them were own by hobbyist, while the rest belongs to commercial use (US Department of Transportation 2018). As a result of how huge the number of drones in the market, there are many cases of unethical drone pilot who use it to invade other people’s privacy.

B)   General Public

As the number of drones increasing in the market, there are increasing report of unethical usage of drone as well. In 2014, a woman reported that a drone was seen outside of her window, the drone was recording the woman at the twenty-sixth floor (Bradwell 2014)

C)   Government

The Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority or known as CASA, have establish a drone license. The registrations are mandatory and have started since July this year. Anyone in Australia who want to fly a drone, will be required to be accredited by CASA. This will allow the police to track down any miscreants. CASA also provide a complain form in their websites, this will allow anyone to report any unsafe or unethical drone operations (Evan 2019).

2.1.2  Ethical View

Stakeholders

Ethical Views

Reasons

Drone Pilot

Universalism

There is only a single truth in this case. Drone pilots are required to follow the local laws that were created by the Federal Aviation Administration

General Public

Universalism

There is only a single truth in this case. There are laws required to be followed by the pilot. When there is unsafe or ethical drone operations, the public can report it to The Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority.

Government

Justice ethics

It is the government duty to treat all parties fairly and to distribute risks and benefits

Equitably.

2.1.3  Personal Point of View

My personal point of view in this case is Universalism. Invading someone else privacy, no matter what technology they use, are not the right thing to do. Furthermore, the laws have been established by the Federal Aviation Administration, flying a drone to someone else property have broken the law.

2.2           Noise Concern

The third ethical concern of drones is noise.  Federal Aviation Administration or known as FAA require drone to be operated in low altitude. This means that drone operations can be noisy and disturb local populations or wildlife. The government have banned the use of drones in many national parks, and marine. The required low altitude flying mandated by the FAA means that drone operations can be incredibly noisy and therefore an intrusion upon wildlife and local populations (NSW Environment, Energy and Science, 2019).

2.2.1 Stakeholders

A)  Drone Pilot

Drone pilot were required by the Federal Aviation Administration follow the local law. Drones pilot are required to fly the drones no more than 120 meters above the ground. This have led many drones to fly at low altitude which can disrupt the local area from the noise disruptions.

B)   General Public

There are many complaints over the noise that was caused by drones. In 2018, a fast food delivery company was testing delivery by drone. The incident happened in Canberra, the local resident complained that the drones create noise pollution and deterred native wildlife. Some of the residents even mentioned “With the windows closed, even with double glazing, you can hear the drones” and “From a quarter past seven in the morning we’d hear our first drone flyover and you won’t be able to sleep for the rest of the day because the drones are flying from 7am to 4pm.”. This has led the 500 people signing a petition calling the drones to be banned (Burnside and Roy, 2019).

C)   Government

The Federal Aviation Administration have established laws for drone in Australia. Drones are required to be operated at line of sight of the pilot, drones must not fly within 5 kilometers of airfield, drones must not fly higher than 120 meters, drones must not fly to populous area, drones must not fly closer than 30 meters from vehicle, building, and people.

2.2.2 Ethical View

Stakeholders

Ethical Views

Reasons

Drone Pilot

Universalism

There is only a single truth in this case. Drone pilots are required to follow the local laws that were created by the Federal Aviation Administration

General Public

Universalism

There is only a single truth in this case. There are laws required to be followed by the pilot. When there is unsafe or ethical drone operations, the public can report it to The Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority.

Government

Justice ethics

It is the government duty to treat all parties fairly and to distribute risks and benefits

Equitably.

2.2.3  Personal Point of View

My personal point of view in this case is Universalism. The Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority have required every drone pilot to take the test for drone license. The drone license can only be acquired if the pilots have certain knowledge for the local law. The federal aviation administrations have published the law about drone. Therefore, there is only one single truth in this case, in the form of the local law.

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A)   Compare your views expressed in 1(d) to positions previously nominated for stakeholders in 1(c). Discuss any prominent differences/similarities between your own views and those that might be held by these others. Why do you think these differences/similarities exist? Who is most likely to be ‘right’?

  1. International Codes of Conduct / Codes of Ethics

    1.        Code of Conduct Evaluation

3.1.1 Association for Computer Machinery (ACM)

Association for Computer Machinery or known as ACM, is the world largest computing society. The society bring together computing educators, researches, and professional to inspire dialogue, share resources, and address challenges. ACM strengthens the profession’s collective voice through strong leadership, promotion of the highest standards, and recognition of technical excellence (Association for Computer Machinery 2019).  To act responsibly, the ACM Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct (“the Code”) expresses the conscience of the profession.

The ACM code of conduct that should be give regarding the use of automated drones are “Respect privacy” and “Avoid harm”. The use of drones in the past few years have raised many discussions among the public. There are many cases of drone used for warfare and invading someone else privacy.

3.1.2 Project Management Institute (PMI)

Project Management Institute or known as PMI, is the world’s leading association for those who consider project, program or portfolio management their profession. PMI members have determined that honesty, responsibility, respect and fairness are the values that drive ethical conduct for the project management profession. PMI’s Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct applies those values to the real-life practice of project management, where the best outcome is the most ethical one. (Project Management Institute 2019)

The PMI code of conduct that should be give regarding the use of automated drones is “Respect”. Respect is our duty to show a high regard for ourselves, others, and the resources entrusted to us. Resources entrusted to us may include people, money, reputation, the safety of others, and natural or environmental resources. In the code of conduct section 3.2.1 “We inform ourselves about the norms and customs of others and avoid engaging in behaviors they might consider disrespectful”, and section 3.3.4 “We respect the property rights of others” are the most likely code that should be give regarding the use of automated drones. Drone pilots must respect other people by not invading someone else’s privacy and should not fly in their area of property.

3.1.3 Australian Computer Society (ACS)

Australia Computer Society or known as ACS, is an Australian based computing society, it was established on 1 January 1966. As the professional association and peak body representing Australia’s ICT sector, ACS delivers authoritative independent knowledge and technology insights, building relevant technology capacity and capability that catalyse Australian innovation and speeds the adoption of technology for the benefit of commerce, government and society (Australian Computer Society 2019).

The ACS code of conduct that should be give regarding the use of automated drones is “Honesty”. According to ACS, Honesty means “You will be honest in your representation of skills, knowledge, service, and product”. In my opinion, drone pilots must be honest on how they will use the drones, whether they will follow the law or not, and whether they are credible to receive the drone license.

2) International Codes of Conduct / Codes of Ethics (6 marks)

Research the Codes of Conduct and Codes of Ethics for Information Technology industry bodies representing Australia (i.e. Australian Computer Society (ACS)) plus two other national or international groups (e.g. Association for Computer Machinery (ACM), Project Management Institute (PMI), Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), British Computer Society (BCS), Computer Society of India (CSI), Institute of IT Professionals New Zealand (IITP), etc.).

Answer the following:

a) In your opinion, and supplying reasoning, what evaluation would each Industry Code most likely give regarding the use of automated drones and control systems governing them?

b) Compare the Codes of Conduct/Ethics for the three industry bodies. What are the major differences? and similarities between the codes you have examined regarding the case study subject matter? Why do you believe that these differences, similarities or areas of conflict are present? Justify answers with specific references to items within case study examples and the Codes themselves

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