Sei sulla pagina 1di 18


Mobile ethics and awareness among users

Mobile phone has become one of the most important gadgets in modern life. It is not merely
an electronic device but it seems to represent our life style, social status and fashion statement
also. The cell phone has virtually re-placed the landline phones. Convergence of technologies
has imbibed mobile phone with lot many facilities like camera, radio, internet, voice recorder,
alarm, watch, gaming device etc. Mobile phone plays very important role in human
conversation nowadays as most of the time we establish and maintain our distant and close
relationships with the help of this miraculous instrument of communication. There have been
a set of rules for the interpersonal communication among its members is all civilized
societies. The use of technology for communicating with others has its benefits as well as
In case of cell phones, despite its heavy and frequent use very few people seem to know
about etiquette of using the mobile phones. India has second largest number of mobile users
in the world i.e. more than 85 crore. During last once decade most of the mobile companies
have been targeting the youth as its prime consumer market and Indian youths have
responded very well. Youth seems to be hardly bothered about the safety and the preventive
issues related to the mobile use. Misuse of mobile phones in the public sphere has become an
issue of public debate nowadays. If we leave apart various crimes happening with the help of
cell phones, etiquette of using mobile is another big issue to be tackled seriously so that the
fellow people do not suffer.
A code of ethics for the use of mobile phones has been launched by Egypts official telecom
regulatory body. Mobile phone technology is considered one of the greatest technologies in
the last few years to serve humanity it says. But it should not be used to tease others. The
code was prepared by the countrys national telecom authority and consumer rights protection


committee. The ethics codes aims to regulate the users behavior on using mobile phones
with the increasing and intense problems and irresponsible behavior of some users of mobile

Don't call others during their times of sleep or rest.

Don't get excited on receiving a wrong number and be more tolerant

Check the number before dialing it in order not to annoy any person.

Don't annoy others with your loud conversations in case you have a mobile phone's
loud speaker. Moreover, this offends the person you are talking to (on the mobile) as
he does not know that others are hearing his conversation.

Don't use mobile phones with high technologies such as the photographic or video
cameras to violate others privacy. Know for sure that making materials that concern
any person available on the Internet or mobile phones without his knowledge or
consent is considered an immoral act punished by law and condemned and rejected by
religion and moral ethics.

Avoid sending SMSs that include inappropriate words or indecent photos as you will
be charged and accused legally for this.

Don't speak loudly on your mobile phones in public places such as hospitals, clinics
or conference halls, etc.

Switch off your mobile phone in places of worship, lecture and examination rooms,
cinemas, theatres, etc.

Switch off your mobile phone in hospitals especially in ICUs lest any potential wave
interference occurs.


Choose a non-annoying ringtone for your mobile phone. Always remember that
ringtones aim mainly to make the mobile user know that he has got a call.

Don't use your mobile phone while driving as this will expose you to huge dangers
and it is illegal.

Use your mobile phone to report something or receive important information.

Beware of dealing with the companies that defraud people concerning certain
ringtones or applications for their mobile phones. You should deal only with
trustworthy companies.

Don't respond to text messages or calls you receive from unknown numbers or
sources because most probably they aim to swindle on you.

On receiving a text message, verify the information mentioned in it before circulating

it in order not to take part in the circulation and propagation of rumors or unverified

Ensure that no one is getting disturbed, hurt, offended or insulted by use of mobile
phone because sensitivity to the other peoples needs and comforts is best sign of

mobile etiquette.
Either put off your mobile phones or put them on silent/vibration mode while
attending meetings, seminars, conferences, symposiums, libraries, religious places,
theatre, airplane, museums, meditation halls, public rest rooms or any other public

function where ringing phones may create interruptions.

Dont talk loudly on mobile phones where it may cause disturbance in the

surroundings especially in hospitals, schools, train, bus, cinema halls etc.

Avoid such loud and annoying ring tone that may cause shock or a sudden confusion
among people in surroundings. For example: crying baby, falling water, breaking
glass, sound of a gun, blast, a song of a bad taste etc.


Think about the convenience and suitability of timings of receiver before calling

Dont send any text messages, image, clip, music, graphics, ring tone or any other

form of data that may hurt, insult, disturb or offend the receiver.
Dont listen to music and watch videos in high volume in public places.
Never capture photographs of individuals with mobile cameras without their consent
and knowledge. Respect privacy of people and places for example, gym, swimming

pool, accidents etc.

Never record sound and videos of persons or places without knowledge, consent or

due permission.
Dont talk on mobile phones while driving. Texting while driving is more dangerous

that taking calls.

Consider the ability of receiver to grasp the SMS content and dont text too small to

understand the complete meaning.

Keep the tone civil and pleasant during talking on mobile phones in public.
Dont check/read messages and do texting while talking to someone.
Dont use ear phones or head phones for listening loud music in public places because

it may cause accident or problems to others.

Keep personal and business talk private and avoid conversations related to private

issues, events and business in public place.

Dont check messages, contacts, images, videos, audios, notes or any other form of

data from anybodys mobile phone without his/her permission.

Never put a caller on hold for long time just to take another important call.
Dont pick others phone without his/her approval.
Avoid multi-tasking while using cell phones and pay complete attention free from any
distraction during taking to someone on mobile phone.

According to a BBC report:- "There is always going to be anti-social behavior, with or

without mobiles," said Doctor Emma Short, a psychologist at the University of
Bedfordshire who specialises in mobile phone use.


Ethics is derived from Greek word Etos which means the way of living. Ethics is the
branch of philosophy that is considered with human conduct. More especially the
behavior of an individual in society ethics examines the rational justification for our
moral judgment.

Ethical Standards
Many local, state, and national bar associations have issued opinions regarding attorneys use
of technology. While their approach and specific conclusions vary, they generally refer to two
overarching ethical responsibilities: the duty of competence and the duty of confidentiality.
The duty of competence, as reflected in the American Bar Associations Model Rule of
Professional Conduct 1.1, provides that an attorney must have the legal knowledge, skill,
thoroughness and preparation reasonably necessary for the representation. Bar associations
have interpreted this rule to require not only knowledge regarding the particular area of law at
issue in the case, but also knowledge of the security issues involved in attorneys use of

The duty of confidentiality, as set forth in Model Rule 1.6, provides that an attorney
generally may not reveal information relating to the representation of a client. The
commentary to Rule 1.6 provides additional detail, stating that a lawyer must act
competently to avoid inadvertent or unauthorized disclosures, either by the lawyer or
by others participating in the representation, and that, when transmitting information,
a lawyer must take reasonable precautions to prevent the information from coming
into the hands of unintended recipients.

Bar association opinions apply these general concepts to many different technologies,
including email, cloud computing, document metadata, and wireless Internet
connections. While it is beyond the scope of this article to discuss the specifics of


each opinion, they collectively impart several important themes that are useful to keep
in mind.

First, it is no longer acceptable to plead ignorance of technology.[1] If you use

technology (and nearly all of us do), you generally will be held responsible for
making reasonable effortsincluding efforts to understand and address security risks
posed by technologyto ensure that your client data remains secure.

Moral Rules and Mobile Ethics

If ethics is understood to fundamentally be about normative issues, and the development
and justification of societal systems of moral rules (Chappell 1998; Dewey & Hurlbutt
1977; Facione, Scherer & Attig 1991), then alongside theoretical interests in the subject
we should also examine the immediate implications of ethics on everyday human actions.
The translation of ethics into everyday actions is observed in the decisions we make in
daily life, in our sense of what is correct and incorrect behavior vis--vis others, and
shows in tangible ways our sense of that which is ethical. In this paper we explore some
ethical dimensions of mobile communication by considering the manner in which
individuals in everyday contexts.


The decisions made in response to a ringing mobile phone or flashing text message
emerge from consequential versus deontological ethical frames (Flew 1979; Olson 1967;
Waller 2005) used to determine what to do versus what we ought to do. This is
particularly true in western and North American cultural contexts from which our data are
Our everyday decisions and actions are also a confirmation of the social order, as our
interpretation of what is correct or incorrect behavior is relative to established social
norms, conventions, and rules (Barbour 1992; Furrow 2005). By examining our
ruminations on these rules, and our consequential actions based on individual value
judgments, we gain insight into the sense of that which is social as opposed to that which
is merely individual. The tensions that arise in decision-making processes expose the
influence of ethics on the exercise of morals within social contexts. This is non-trivial and
complex in daily, face-to-face interaction. Our ability to empathize with others who are
near at hand can lead to better choices for the benefit of the collective and more altruistic
outcomes. On the other hand, when we are more attentive to our individual desires and
consciously or not become poorly attuned to those around us, our decisions can also lead
to misunderstandings and abused feelings, and our actions may be interpreted as
The Concept of Mobile Ethics
Ethics is a set of rules supposed to be followed by people in a particular field. Though
unlike law breaking ethical rules does not amount any direct punishment but ethics has
social pressure bounding upon individual. Since childhood the process of learning ethical
aspects of human behavior continues lifelong. According to Merriam Websters online
dictionary, etiquette is defined as the conduct or procedure required by good breeding or
prescribed by authority to be observed in social atmosphere. Mobile phone etiquettes can


be defined as good manners of proper mobile usage without hurting, disturbing and
annoying others. This may include a certain level of sensibility on the part of user
regarding when to take calls, when to ignore calls, when to silent the ringer,
appropriately sending and receiving text messages and appropriate use of mobile phone in
different situations.
Present Trend and Mobile Ethics
Mediated interaction via the mobile phone in particular adds new dimensions to ethical
considerations. We often need to decide whether it is better to respect the sensibilities of
co-present others over our desire to communicate with remote interlocutors when, for
example, our phone rings in a restaurant. In this case the affordance of the mobile phone
to dissolve geographical distance and provide virtual proximity presents the receiver with
a choice in the moment.


While these are ethics that can be worked out by ponderous thought, we also need to
process these issues in the moment. In mobile-mediated interactions, decision-making
processes are further compounded by what may be described as incompatibilities in
values (Berlin 1980). An incoming call in a restaurant places the value that an individual
holds in being accessible at all times in conflict with a value that he or she has in being
solely attentive to a dinner companion: this example illustrates basic tensions of
pervasiveness versus limitedness, and being individual versus social. These decisions are
also affected by the relative newness of mobile technologies and a perception that social
rules and principles are still being worked out regarding the use of these technologies in
various contexts. By understanding the principles governing our application of everyday
ethics in these situations (both co-present and mediated) we have the opportunity to see
the workings of society: society constituted as both the primary source of our ethical
norms and behaviors, and society as reflected in the social contexts in which these norms
and behaviors emerge reflexively through praxis.
Modern society is quite often focused on the individual and is, indeed, becoming more
individualized. We see this in the sense that we need to construct and take responsibility
for our own lives (Beck and Beck-Gernsheim 2002; Lash 2002). At a more mundane
level, the drift of technology development is in the direction of more individualized
devices. Where there was public transportation, there is now personal transportation;
where there were shared landline telephones, we now each have our own mobile phone.
The mobile phone is clearly a part of this drift towards individualism. The mobile phone
gives users freedom of movement. It is our own personal communication channel. It is a
device where we can collect personal photos, our contact list, messages from friends and
family, etc.


Even while individualization is a major organizing theme in society, another dynamic is

being accessible to one another. While on the one hand, technology and the general drift
of society is encouraging individualism, those technologies through which we mediate
communication carry with them the expectation of being social. It is fair to say that the
mobile phone is a personal device, but it is just as fair to say that it makes us individually
addressable to others (Ling and Donner 2009).
With personal addressability, there also comes responsibility. This is the paradox of being
individually accessible. The freedom afforded by the mobile phone is not ours alone. All
others who have a phone can call us as needed.

The aim of this research is to find out the awareness level of mobile ethics among the
users. It will elaborate all the dimensions of the usage.

The objectives of this research is to

Trace various rudiments for designing basic framework of mobile etiquette

Measure the awareness level about various ethical aspects of mobile use
Determine manners of talking and elaborate verbal and non verbal expressions used
Compare the ethical codes with the present codes applied
Check the awareness level of people in terms of mobile ethics



The design used for this research will be observation and survey. Observation will be non
participative in nature. People using mobile phones will be visualized. Their etiquettes and
manners of talking will be seen and noted down. This study is an effort to look at completely
new areas of communication ethics. Along with observation method secondary data will be
collected through survey.
The elements to be studied will be

People involved in using mobile frequently

The ethical codes generated for using mobile phones

The universe for this research will be Ranchi city.
A sample of 100 mobile users will be taken from Ranchi. Equal sample of male and women
will be taken. Sample will be selected from home of some colonies of Ranchi city.
Convenient sampling technique will be employed for taking the sample for the research.
Questionnaire will be used as a tool of data collection. The questions to be enquired will be1. Do you use mobile phone frequently?
2. Are you aware of the ethical codes of mobile usage?
3. Giving a situation, how you handle cell phones at that time?

Literature Review


Mobile communication and ethics: implications of everyday actions on social order

Rich Ling & Rhonda McEwen published in his report about the opportunities and affordances
that mobile technologies bring to our day-to-day live, the ability to cheat physical separation
and remain accessible to each otherin an instantalso brings pressure to bear on wellestablished social conventions as to how we should act when we are engaged with others in
shared spaces.
This paper explored some ethical dimensions of mobile communication by considering the
manner in which individuals in everyday contexts balance interpretations of emergent social
conventions with personal desires to connect in the moment. The decisions made in response
to a ringing mobile phone or flashing text message emerged from consequential versus
deontological ethical frames used to determine what to do versus what we ought to do. This is
particularly true in western and North American cultural contexts from which data were
collected. Using Goffmans dramaturgy, these conflicts occurring on an individual level
provided evidence of social structure, and

simultaneously entwined with less obvious

ruminations on the maintenance of social order.

Post human viewing: a discussion of the ethics of mobile phone imagery

Bolette B Blaagaard, Aalborg University, Copenhagen, Denmark discussed the relationship
between theories of photography and mobile phone footage in their article. In doing so, it was
asked if theories of photography still apply in a technologically saturated world of imagery.
Technology is an increasingly important part of viewing imagery today and enables imagery
to become part of a global cultural flow, thus calling into question the physical connection
between viewer and image.


This article analyzed what happens to that connection when not only the image but also the
physical body is mediated and challenged in post-human relations, and examined the ensuing
ethical implications. The author took photojournalism and, in particular, mobile phone
footage as a starting point for an exploration of the (post-human) body as evidence and sign
of authenticity in the modern age of digital communications and journalism.

Mobile Witnessing: Ethics and the Camera Phone in the War on Terror(2005)
Some of the first images were rapidly circulated globally in news media of the London
Bombings on 7 July 2005 that were taken by non-journalists using mobile camera phones.
This paper explored some of the ethical issues raised by mobile phone witnessing in the war
on terror.
The article uses a performative approach of witnessing in which mobile testimony is seen in
terms of performances and speech acts between different parties, including

mute witness
the survivor witness and
witness to the survivor

The approach enabled to see the significance of global mobilities and mobilizations in
relation to ethics and mobile witnessing, rather than focusing only the ethics associated with
the discrete mobile witness image itself. The article examined some of the global virtual
traces and data trajectories on the World Wide Web associated with a mobile camera phone
image taken by a witness survivor, Adam Stacey in the 7 July 2005 London Bombings.
This suggested that mobile witnessing involves a fluid and travelling involvement in data
capture, data sharing, and receipt, through global networks mobilized through multiple
mobilities. Mobile witnessing has trajectories across and moments of emplacement between
the self and the other, the individual and the group, the private and the public, the citizen and
the professional journalist, the living body and the machine. In traversing the ordinary and the


extraordinary, speech and speechlessness, mobile witnessing can involve engagement beyond
mere spectatorship, establishing new ways of recording events in the war on terror.

The Subtle Ethics of Cell Phone Culture (2009)

This report was submitted by jrieders on cell phones that have become totally integrated into
our daily lives. Sitting in the classroom, on the bus, at the dinner table, we find ourselves
constantly checking our cell phones for messages and updates. Now that the internet is
available on our phones some seem to literally have their phones glued to their hands.
The impact of cell phones is seen in our legislation, and even serves as key evidence in
political corruption. In the celebrity realm a stolen cell phone can ignite massive scandals
damaging to individual reputation, family members, and anyone associated with that
celebrity. The emergence of new forms of bulling and sexual harassment, and new challenges
to school administrators in determining their role in appropriate cell phone usage can be seen.
Some studies have produced evidence that link cell phone use to cancer and neurological
disorders, but few involve human subjects and the findings are sometimes conflicting. Some
argue that cell phones have not been in use long enough for us to see their harmful side
effects. This research revolved around these research questions

Are there psychological threats that current research might overlook?

Given that cell phones are potentially hazardous to our health, why do we constantly
push for more availability and advancement of cell phone technology?


Finally, how do we deal with more subtle ethics such as teaching our children safe
and responsible cell phone use?

Mobile devices and attorney ethics: What are the issues?

Linn Foster Freedman, Jason P. Gonzalez published in their report that mobile devices, such
as iPhones, iPads, Android smartphones, and Blackberries, have become indispensable for
many attorneys. They allow users to e-mail, text, make phone calls, browse the web, access
maps, and take photographs. They also often allow users to purchase appsa type of
computer programthat can be enormously useful to the practice of law, including apps that
enable legal research, file sharing, document scanning, timekeeping, billing, and invoicing.
However, this helpful technology comes with some risks.
This helpful technology comes with some risks. Attorneys increased use of mobile devices
can lead to increased concerns that confidential client information will be lost, stolen, or
inadvertently disclosed. Consider the possibilities: a lost iPhone full of attorney-client e-mails
and texts; a wireless iPad communication session hacked, allowing the hacker full access to
the information stored on the device; a malicious banking app on an Android phone allowing
hackers to obtain attorney bank account information.
To date, the ethical risks associated with attorneys use of mobile devices have received
relatively little attention. Fortunately, however, local, state, and national bar associations have
issued a variety of opinions on the ethical risks of technology more generally. These opinions
provide a helpful framework for understanding the security risks associated with mobile
device technology, how these risks may implicate attorneys ethical responsibilities, and how
these risks may be minimized.


Mobile Ethics: Awareness among the Mobile Users

Dev Vrat Singh, Ph.D. Reader and Ritu Barki researched on the topic. They found that during
last one decade, mobile phones have changed the way human beings have been
communicating with each other since centuries. All new technologies or innovations come in
to use first and ethics related to the use of that technology follows it in the society. Same is
the case of mobile phones world over. With the increasing number of cell phones, debate over
the etiquette of using mobile phones is also gaining impetus across the globe. Recently in
India also, government has directed all the mobile companies to educate its consumers about
mobile etiquettes.
This paper dealt with two aspects of this debate, first what are key components comprising
the ethics for mobile use. And second, what is the present level of awareness about mobile
etiquette among mobile users. The paper argued that every civilized society has certain rules
and regulations designed for dialogue among its members and because the mobile
communication has just an extension of interpersonal communication in the society therefore
existing rules for actual human communication will also guide the code and ethics for mobile
Also this study can be considered as a small effort to explore about opinions and awareness
level of mobile users about various elements of mobile users. The study concludes that
though the level of awareness is not very high but more serious aspect of the data is that
despite the knowledge of adverse impacts of mobile use a large number of people do not
bother to follow few basic rules regarding mobile use.
It emerged out clearly in the study that responsible and ethical use of mobile phone has
become a social talk these days. One or the other day, most of the respondents have felt that
people should be more careful about others convenience while using their mobile phone.


Many rudiments of mobile etiquettes are outcome of common sense already prevalent in
society; therefore respondents are familiar of it. But despite knowing it people do not bother
to apply it in their day-to-day life. Of course there is huge gap between what we talk in public
and follow in personal life; this is reflected in case of use of mobile phones also. Following
are some conclusions derived out of the data analysis:

Half of the people talk on phone even if they are eating and there is a call to attend.
Total 37.5 percent of the respondents do not bother to take the call while attending

any meeting, sitting in a public gathering or at a religious place.

The awareness level of mobile users about mobile related laws, facts and etiquettes is

quite poor and needs to be increased through intensive campaigns.

People do not feel very shy on many issues related to ethical use mobile phones. For
example talking loudly on public places, taking phone calls in meetings, religious
places and meddling with others mobile phones. This shows that our society is liberal

enough to bear with slightly loose mobile behavior.

More than half of the people like simple ring tones provided by mobile companies.
Latest Bollywood hits are very popular as head turning ring tones

Silent Ethics in the Mobile Phone Sector? The Case of the por que no te callas?
This study concluded on the fact that the mobile phone industry has been one paradigmatic
example of the rapid innovation pace which characterizes the telecommunications sector.
Apart from the obvious core product, the mobile itself, the industry has strongly relied on the
popularity (and, consequently, profitability) of satellite businesses such as the ringtones one.


Specifically concerning the latter, the mobile phone companies had to take into consideration
legal guidelines flowing out from other branches of law, namely copyright. As the
development of technology (and of commercial awareness) encourages an intertwinement of
the mobile industry and practice with a growing number of other fields, ethical principles are
a primary tool in what concerns basic regulatory needs. Notably, the use of someones voice
or catchy phrase in a ringtone can call upon the intervention of the right of publicity.
However, just like in any other subjective right, the limits to ones right of publicity must be
drawn, for it is not an absolute right. In fact, if on the one hand fairness and selfdetermination are powerful ethical arguments when regulating the use of personality features
by themobile phone industry, on the other hand the right to evoke has to be carefully curbed.
Ethics should not be a motor for the creation of unjustified monopolies, insofar as it lacks
argumentative strength to go further. When ethical concerns start becoming blurred,
economic principles should step in. Definitely, ethics are not silent in the mobile phone
industry, but they sure ought to listen to what economics has to say.