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The SAGE Guide to Key Issues in Mass Media Ethics and Law
Ebook - 16 September Show More. Legal and Ethical Issues in the Media foregrounds the rapidly changing media and communications industries and offers: - Accessible and contemporary discussion of key ethical and legal concepts for the student beginning his or her media career- Overviews of crucial ethical frameworks for understanding responsible media practice - Comparisons of international legal and media systems - Key examples of traditional and new media - Brief summaries of complex areas of media law, regulation and policy Show Less.
For example, physical properties of speech and the human voice — which have long been associated with elements of personality — have been linked to individual differences in job performance. In addition, there are yet no convincing hypotheses or defensible conclusions about whether it would be ethical to screen out people based on their voices, which are physiologically determined, largely unchangeable personal attributes.
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Likewise, social media activity — e. But is it ethical to mine this data for hiring purposes when users will have generally used such apps for different purposes and may not have provided their consent for data analysis to draw private conclusions from their public postings? When used in the hiring context, new technologies raise a number of new ethical and legal questions around privacy, which we think ought to be publicly discussed and debated, namely:. Political affiliation and religious beliefs are just as easily identifiable.
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How the courts will handle situations where employers have relied upon tools using these proxy variables is unclear; but the fact remains that it is unlawful to take an adverse action based upon certain protected or private characteristics — no matter how these were learned or inferred.
How might the application of the Americans with Disabilities Act change? Additionally, the Employee Polygraph Protection Act generally prohibits employers from using lie detector tests as a pre-employment screening tool and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act prohibits employers from using genetic information in employment decisions.
But what if the exact same kind of information about truth, lies, or genetic attributes can be determined by the above-mentioned technological tools? All of these things, and many more, are easily discoverable in the digital era.
With the expansion of data comes the potential expansion for misuse and resulting discrimination — either deliberate or unintentional. With regard to social media, specifically, states began introducing legislation back in to prevent employers from requesting passwords to personal internet accounts as a condition of employment.
More than twenty states have enacted these types of laws that apply to employers. However, in terms of general privacy in the use of new technologies in the workplace, there has been less specific guidance or action.
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In general, state and federal courts have yet to adopt a unified framework for analyzing employee privacy as related to new technology. The takeaway is that at least for now, employee privacy in the age of big data remains unsettled. This puts employers in a conflicted position that calls out for caution: Cutting-edge technology is available that may be extremely useful.
Is it legal to use in a hiring context? The Americans with Disabilities Act puts mental disabilities squarely in its purview, alongside physical disabilities, and defines an individual as disabled if the impairment substantially limits a major life activity, if the person has a record of such an impairment, or if the person is perceived to have such an impairment.
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About a decade ago, The U. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission EEOC issued guidance to say that the expanding list of personality disorders described in the psychiatric literature could qualify as mental impairments, and the ADA Amendments Act made it easier for an individual to establish that he or she has a disability within the meaning of the ADA. As a result, the category of people protected under the ADA may now include people who have significant problems communicating in social situations, people who have issues concentrating, or people who have difficulty interacting with others.
In addition to raising new questions about disabilities, technology also presents new dilemmas with respect to differences, whether demographic or otherwise.
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There have already been high-profile real-life situations where these systems have revealed learned biases, especially relating to race and gender.