What is the ethical issue?

Many organisations now collect a large amount of data both in written and electronic format. Most of this will be held by individual operating companies.

This information includes data relating to customers and suppliers, which could be accessed by hackers if not secured appropriately. Organisations have a duty of care and a reponsibility to their stakeholders whose data they hold, to protect them from harm.


IBE Guidance

A summary of good practice
  • Organisations should take extreme care with respect to the proper use, storage and transmission of this information. Regulations like GDPR should not just be seen as a compliance exercise, but as an opportunity to improve cybersecurity, transparency and responsible use of personal data. There is a need to take extreme care with respect to the proper use, storage and transmission of data, adhering to both the law and the consent of individuals.
  • Appropriate technical and organisational measures need to be put in place to protect data from accidental or unlawful destruction or accidental loss, alteration, unauthorised disclosure or access. These measures should ensure a level of security appropriate to the risks represented by the processing and the nature of the data protected.


Further resources

Publication type: Business ethics briefing

Business Ethics in the News 2019

This briefing provides an overview of the ethical concerns and lapses that were recorded by the IBE in its monitoring of media coverage in 2019. It gives an overview of which sectors and issues related to business ethics were most covered in the news. For 2019, we have recorded a total of 361 different stories involving lapses of companies with a UK presence.

29 January 2020

Publication type: Board briefing

Corporate Ethics in a Digital Age

This Board Briefing suggests questions for those in the boardroom to ask to help address the ethical challenges of AI in their businesses. It uses case studies to highlight the real-world dilemmas which boards are facing.

04 June 2019

Publication type: Business ethics briefing

The Ethical Challenges and Opportunities of Social Media Use

Social media presents organisations with both ethical challenges and opportunities. As it blurs the boundaries between our personal lives and work, it can be a difficult balance for companies to protect their reputations, uphold their responsibilities to stakeholders, and empower employees to use social media ethically and effectively.

02 May 2019


What were the ''hot'' ethical issues of 2018?

Now here is a surprise! The UK public’s trust in business has jumped and is at its highest level since 2003.

05 February 2019

Publication type: Other

A Year In Review: Ethical Concerns and Lapses 2018

Read the IBE's annual analysis of business ethics news stories from the last year - which were the sectors and issues most in the news in 2018?

30 January 2019

Publication type: Business ethics briefing

Beyond Law: Ethical culture and GDPR

What are the wider ethical implications of GDPR? How can an organisation’s values be embedded and monitored so that the new regulation becomes a measure of those, rather than simply a set of compliance rules that must be ticked off?

30 May 2018

Publication type: Business ethics briefing

Business Ethics and Big Data

This briefing seeks to bring some clarity to the ethical issues related to Big Data, defining why they are relevant to companies and where the main ethical risks might lie. It also provides a set of questions that can help ethics practitioners liaise with their colleagues and make sure that their organisation lives up to its values when dealing with Big Data.

07 June 2016

Publication type: Report

Ethics in the Provision and Use of IT for Business

This report draws attention to the issues, dilemmas and challenges that are common when IT is used to achieve business initiatives. It provides guidance for all business managers on planning, implementing and evaluating the provision and use of IT so that ethical challenges are anticipated, and the organisation's ethical values and commitments are not compromised.

07 January 2010