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Published by: mridulakhanna on Apr 01, 2009
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I wish my sincere thanks to PROF. KAMAL PARSAI for giving us the opportunity to present a report on MIS. This gave us an insight how theoretical concepts are applied in organizations.


 

Technology Trends and the Ethical Issues The Model

Social, Ethical and Legal issues of information systems

    

Privacy Intellectual Property Accountability, Liability and Control System Quality Quality of Life


Technology Trend

Ethical Issues

Computing Power Doubles Every - Dependence on computer systems - Processing power facilitates security 18 Months (Moor’s Law)

Rapidly Declining Data Storage Costs Data analysis Advances Networking Advances and the Internet

Easy main individual’s info

Analysis of vast quantities of data to develop detailed profiles of an individual Remote access to personal data


Non-obvious Relationship Awareness (NORA)


A model for thinking about ethical, social, and political issues  Illustrates the dynamics connecting ethical, social, and political issues  Identifies the moral dimensions of the information society, across individual, social, and political levels of action


The relationship between ethical, social, and political issues in an information society


Five moral dimensions of the information age

Information rights and obligations Property rights and obligations Accountability and control System quality Quality of life

 

Principles of right and wrong Can be used by individuals acting as free moral agents to make choices to guide their behavior Have been given new urgency by the use of the Internet, electronic commerce, and digital technologies


Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you Kant’s Categorical Imperative: If an action is not right for everyone to take, then it is not right for anyone Descartes’ rule of change: If an action cannot be taken repeatedly, then it is not right to be taken at any time Utilitarian Principle: Put values in rank order and understand consequences of various courses of action Risk Aversion Principle: Take the action that produces the least harm or incurs the least cost Ethical “No Free Lunch” Rule: All tangible and intangible objects are owned by creator who wants compensation for the work

Promises by professions to regulate themselves in the general interest of society
Promulgated by associations such as the Canadian Medical Association (CMA), the Canadian Bar Association (CBA), and the Association of Information Technology Professionals (AITP)


Using systems to increase efficiency, causing layoffs and personal hardships Monitoring employee use of the Internet at work to increase productivity, decreasing employee privacy


The relationship between ethical, social, and political issues in an information society


The right of an individual to protect or disclose any part of his/her information. Claim of individuals to be left alone, free from surveillance or interference from other individuals, organizations, or the state While some information is private to a party (e.g. medical condition, bank account information), it may not be considered private to another party. Fair Information Practices (FIP); U.S. (1973): Set of principles governing the collection and use of information; the basis of most North American and European privacy laws


There should be no personal record systems whose existence is secret. Individuals have right of access to systems that contain information about them. There must be no use of personal information for purposes other than those for which it was gathered. Mangers 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.

• • •

Tiny files deposited on a hard drive Used to identify the visitor and track visits to the Web site How it works?

1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

User selects a web site to visit User’s computer (client) sends a request to Server The server sends the web page information to client along with a data file (cookie) which contains user ID, time of visit, what user visited, etc. The user’s computer (client) receives the cookie and saves it on the user’s hard drive Next time, when users wants to visit the same web site, the server uses the cookie (available on user’s computer) to identify the user.

User (Client)


2 3 4

cookie cookie

Server 5

Web Bugs

• •

Tiny graphic files embedded in e-mail messages and Web pages Designed to monitor online Internet user behavior


software that comes hidden in free downloadable software and tracks your online movements, mines the information stored on your computer, or uses your computer’s processor and storage for some task you know nothing about. Spyware is also used to call for ads from third-party servers, or to divert customers from one site to a preferred site.

The relationship between ethical, social, and political issues in an information society


Intellectual Property: • Intangible property created by individuals or corporations • Subject to protections under trade secret, copyright, and
patent law

• • •

Three main ways that intellectual property is protected:
Trade secret Copyright Patents


1. 2. 3.

Intellectual work or product belonging to business, not in the public domain Supreme Court test for breach of confidence:
information conveyed must be confidential information must have been communicated in confidence information must have been misused by the party to whom it was communicated

• • •

A sign that identifies certain goods & services Any combination of words, letters, numbers, drawings, symbols, images, or musical sounds Indefinite



product or a process that provides a new way of doing something or offers a new technical solution to a problem


• •

Legal document granting the owner an exclusive monopoly on the ideas behind an invention for 17 to 20 years. exclusive rights to make, distribute, and sell invention.


Ethical issues

Should you copy for your own use a piece of software or other digital content that is protected by copyright, trade secret or patent?

Social issues

Current intellectual property laws breaking down

Political issues

Creation of new property protection measures


The relationship between ethical, social, and political issues in an information society


Basic concepts: Responsibility, Accountability, and Liability

Responsibility: Accepting the potential costs, duties, and obligations for decisions Accountability: Mechanisms for identifying responsible parties Liability: Permits individuals (and firms) to recover damages done to them Due process: Laws are well known and understood, with an ability to appeal to higher authorities

  

The producer of SW code? The producer of the machine who should test the code,? The organization/facility (e.g. Hospital, Bank) where the damage was done?
Ethical Issues: Who is morally responsible for consequences of use? Social Issues: What should society expect and allow? Political Issues: To what extent should government intervene and

  


 

Information Systems executives are responsible for harm done by systems developed by their staffs. When SW is a part of a machine, and the machine harms someone physically or economically, the producer of the SW and the operator can be held liable for damages. If the SW acts like a book by storing and displaying information, then it is very difficult (if not impossible) to hold SW producer liable for their products. Historically, print publishers have not been held liable in accordance with freedom of expression (with the exception of fraud and defamation) Telephone Systems have not been held liable for the messages transmitted, but Internet Service Providers (AOL, MSN, etc) can be held liable for the offensive content of the postings by their users.

Yahoo case in France in 2000, auctioning Nazirelated materials

• •

The court ruled that even the server in the US should stop auctioning Nazi-related stuff (fine: US 10,000 per day) Advocate of freedom of speech, and the rule of the Internet as an open source media.


The relationship between ethical, social, and political issues in an information society


Three principal sources of poor system performance:

Ethical Issues: At what point to release the software/services for
consumption? What are you obliged to know about the quality of your SW?

SW bugs and errors (there is no perfect SW, no industry testing standards for producing SW of acceptable performance) • HW or facility failures • Poor quality of input data

Social Issues: Should people be encouraged to believe systems
are perfect?

Political Issues: Laws of responsibility and accountability.
The Standards Council of Canada sets Canadian standards, including the international ISO 9000 and ISO 14000. (penalties for failure to abide by the standards are unclear)


The relationship between ethical, social, and political issues in an information society


Balancing Power: Centre versus Periphery

• • • • •

Is IT centralizing decision-making power in the hands of a few, or is it allowing many more people to participate in decisions that affect their lives?

Rapidity of Change:
Rapidity of technological change gives businesses less time to respond or adjust to competition

Maintaining Boundaries: Family, Work, and Leisure
Hard to maintain boundaries between family, work, and leisure due to a “do anything anywhere” environment

Dependence and Vulnerability
we are so dependent on Info Sys that an outage can affect many aspects of our daily activities There are few regulatory standards to protect us from the failure of complex electrical, communications, and computer networks upon which we all depend.


Computer Crime:

• •

Commission of illegal acts through the use of a computer or against a computer system Example: Hacking, Sniffing

Computer Abuse:

• • • •

Commission of acts involving a computer that may not be illegal but are considered unethical Example: Spamming Productivity drain at work: use of computer and Internet access for non-work related purposes Question: does employer have the right to monitor employees email and internet activities?

Workers lose their jobs due to automation, re-engineering the workforce, and outsourcing The rapid development of the Internet has made it possible to offshore hundreds of thousands of jobs from high-wage countries to low- wage countries. Reengineering existing jobs using IT also results in few jobs (generally). While this benefits low-wage countries enormously, the costs are paid by high-wage country workers.


The presentation was really fruitful to us. After this report we are now able to analyze the relationship among ethical, social and political issues that are raised by IS. During the course of writing this report we were able to evaluate the impact of contemporary IS and internet and protection of individual privacy and intellectual property.


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