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Chapter Five

Chapter Five

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Chapter Five

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  1. Chapter Five Ethical and Social Impact of Information Systems

  2. Understanding Ethical and Social Issues Related To Systems • Ethics – principles of right and wrong that can be used by individuals acting as free moral agents to make choices to guide their behavior • Information rights – the rights that individuals and organizations have with respect to information that pertains to themselves

  3. Five Moral Dimensions of the Information Age • Information rights and obligations • What information rights do individuals have with respect to information about themselves? • Property Rights • How will traditional intellectual property rights be protected in a digital society in which tracing and accounting for ownership is difficult.

  4. Five Moral Dimensions of the Information Age • Accountability and control • Who can and will be held accountable and liable for the harm done to the individual and collective information and property rights? • System Quality • What standards of data and system quality should we demand to protect individual rights and the safety of society? • Quality of Life • What values should be preserved in an information and knowledge-based society?What institutions should we protect? What cultures and values?

  5. Key Technology Trends that raise Ethical Issues • The doubling of computing power increases power, but system errors and poor data quality. • Advances in data storage helps companies and individuals to obtain and store more private or protected info/material • Advances in datamining enable people to find much more information than before • Advances in networking greatly reduces the cost of the obtaining information and moving information.

  6. Basic Ethics Concepts • Responsibility – accepting the potential costs, duties, and obligations for the decisions that one makes • Accountability – the mechanisms for assessing responsibility for decisions made and actions taken • Liability – the existence of laws that permit individuals to recover the damages done to them by other actors, systems, or organizations • Due process – a process in which laws are well-known and there is a system to appeal to higher authorities to ensure that laws are applied correctly

  7. Ethical Analysis • Identify and describe clearly the facts • Define the conflict or dilemma and identify the higher order values involved. • Identify the stakeholders • Identify the options that you can reasonably take. • Identify the potential consequences of your options.

  8. Candidate Ethical Principles • Golden Rule • Immanual Kant’s Categorical Imperative • A principle that if an action is not right for everyone to take than it is not right for anyone • Descates’ Rule of Change • A principle that states if an action cannot be repeatedly taken than it is not right to be taken at any time.(also known as the slippery slope rule)

  9. Candidate Ethical Principles • Utilitarian Principle • Principle that one assumes one can put values in rank order and understand the consequences of various courses of action. • Risk Aversion Principle • Principle that one should take the action the produces the least amount of harm or incurs the least cost. • Ethical ‘no free lunch’ rule • Assumption that all tangible and intangible objects are owned by someone else unless there is a specified declaration otherwise, ie the creator.

  10. Professional Codes of Conduct • Associations comprised of people wishing to be called professional and recognized for their expertise and knowledge. • AMA • ABA • DPMA • ACM

  11. Fair Information Practices Principles • Privacy – the claim of individuals to be left alone, free from surveillance or interference from other individuals, organizations, or the state • FIP – 1973 • There should be no personal record systems that are kept secret • Individuals have rights of access, inspections, review, and amendment to systems that contain information about them.

  12. Fair Information Practices Principles • FIP (1973) Continued • There must be no use of personal information for purposes other than those for which it was granted without prior consent • Managers of systems are responsible and can be held accountable and liable for the damage done by systems for their reliability and security • Governments have the right to intervene in the information relationships among private parties. • Know Table 5.2 page 135

  13. Property Rights • Intellectual property • Intangible property created by individuals or corporations that is subject to protections under trade secret, copyright, and patent laws • Trade secret- any intellectual work or product used for a business purpose that can be classified as belonging to that business, provided it is not based on information in the public domain • Copyright – a statutory grant that protects the creators of intellectual property against copying by others for any purpose for a period of 28 years • Patent – a legal document that grants the owner an exclusive monopoly on the ideas behind an invention for 17 years

  14. Internet Challenges to Privacy • Spamming – the practice of sending unsolicited email and other electronic communication. • Web pages, content and framing issues

  15. Accountability, Liability, and Control • The EDS ATM example • The Shell Oil Example • Questions, who is at fault? Who should pay?

  16. Computer Crime and Abuse • Computer crime • The commission of illegal acts through the use of a computer or against a computer system. • Computer Abuse • The commission of acts involving a computer that may not be illegal but are considered unethical

  17. Internet Crime and Abuse • Taken from table 5.4 page 147 • Hacking – exploiting weaknesses in Web site security to obtain data or insert viruses. • Jamming – using software to tie up computers hosting web sites so visitors cannot access site • Malicious software – viruses sent to disable computers or cause harm • Sniffing – using software to electronically eavesdrop on communications transmissions • Spoofing – setting up false web sites with the purpose of obtaining information from unsuspecting visitors

  18. Health Risks of Computers • Repetitive stress injury (RSI) • Occupational disease that occurs when muscle groups are forced through repetitive actions with high-impact loads or thousands of repetitive actions with low-impact loads. • Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) • Type of RSI in which pressure on the median nerve through the wrist bone carpal tunnel structures produces pain • Computer vision syndrome (CVS) • Eye strain condition related to computer display screen use with symptoms including headaches, blurred vision, and dry, irritated eyes. • Technostress • Stress induced by computer use whose symptoms include aggravations and hostility towards computers and human

  19. Finale: Corporate Code of Ethics • Addresses • Information rights and privacy • Property rights and information • Accountability and control • System quality • Quality of Life