Why Should I Behave? Addressing Unethical Cyber Behavior through Education


  • Jennifer Petrie-Wyman University of Pittsburgh
  • Anthony Rodi University of Pittsburgh
  • Richard McConnell U.S. Army Command and General Staff College


The pace and scale of change within the fields of data and cyber technology are so large that practitioners in these fields are focused on mission accomplishment over reflection on the ethical ramifications of evolving policies and procedures. As a consequence of the COVID-19 global pandemic, practitioners are scrambling to provide services over virtual platforms without pausing to reflect on the ethical implications and moral consequences of their increased virtual behavior. The escalation of data and cyber use without an ethical consciousness of that virtual technology makes us blind to unintended consequences and vulnerable to attacks by perpetrators and nation states exploiting our limitations. This paper examines the pertinent and timely need to reconsider cyber ethics, ethical cyber theories, and the limited and inequitable cyber ethics education happening in the United States. The authors then present a model for creating a comprehensive data and cyber ethics educational model and examine the leading role higher education and the military can play in advancing the model. The paper concludes with a call to collective action by professionals, educators, and leaders in the data and cyber technology sector and presents recommendations.






Innovations and Future Directions in Education