Technology has an ethics problem. I don’t mean that it’s evil, although I’d forgive you for thinking that. Just take a look at Theranos or Mylan, or Uber’s parade of seemingly-unending scandals. So yes, there are some actors for whom “they lack a moral compass” is the charitable explanation. No, the main problem is that we spend so little time thinking about ethics.
It’s too easy to think that since your intent is good that your results will be, too. But good intent is not sufficient. It’s important to consider impacts as well, especially the impacts on people not like you. (Note that I use “you” to avoid awkward wording. I’m guilty of this as well.) And when you do consider the impacts, don’t be Robert Moses. Does your new web interface make it harder for people who use screen readers? Is your insulin meter easy to misinterpret for someone whose blood sugar is off?
The work we do in the technology sector every day can have a significant impact on people’s lives. And yet ethics courses are often an afterthought in college curricula. Of course, many in tech are self-trained with no real professional body to provide guidance. This means they get no exposure to professional ethics at all. It’s no wonder that we, as an industry, ignore our ethical obligations.