Ethical technology and trust
A common refrain in Deloitte’s Tech Trends reports is that every company is now a technology company. With the advent of digital technology, businesses have been asking customers to trust them in new and deeper ways, from asking for personal information to tracking online behavior through digital breadcrumbs. At the same time, headlines regularly chronicle technology-based issues such as security hacks, inappropriate or illegal surveillance, misuse of personal data, spread of misinformation, algorithmic bias, and lack of transparency. The distrust these incidents breed in stakeholders—whether customers, employees, partners, investors, or regulators—can significantly damage an organization’s reputation.
The term ethical technology refers to an overarching set of values that is not limited to or focused on any one technology, instead addressing the organization’s approach to its use of technologies as a whole and the ways in which they are deployed to drive business strategy and operations.
Ethical technology policies do not replace general compliance or business ethics, but they should all connect in some way. Just as your approach to cybersecurity hasn’t taken the place of your company’s more general privacy policies, your ethical technology approach should complement your overall approach to ethics and serve as its logical extension in the digital realm. Read more here