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ROLL NO : 24


Moral Dimensions of Information System
Following are some of the moral dimensions of information system along with its
ethical, social and political impacts.

1. Privacy and Freedom

Privacy is the right to be left alone, free from surveillance or

interference from other individuals or organizations including the state.
Many employees working in organizations are under surveillance.
Information technology augmented this problem and threatens individual’s
privacy. The information stored centrally can be misused by an unscrupulous
government or centralized agencies. This unauthorized use of such
information would seriously affect the privacy of individuals and it may
sometimes hurt the credit standing or reputation of individuals.

Special softwares like Cookies is mainly used to trace the personal details of
the visitors of a website. The following ethical issues are more relevant in
the context of privacy of individuals:

• Under what circumstances one can invade the privacy of others

• Is it legitimate to enter into the lives of others through surveillance or

through other means like market research

• Is it necessary to inform the individual when taping information about


2. Information systems and intellectual property

Intellectual property rights can be defined as the rights given to people

over the creations of their minds. They usually give the creator an exclusive
right to use of his creations for a certain period of time. It’s divided in to
• Copyright and rights related to copyright

• Industrial property

Piracy exists in homes, schools, business and government. Software

pirates not only steal from the companies that make the software, but they
will also be able to develop new software with less money for research and
development. Software piracy refers to the un authorized duplication of
computer software. All software companies in the world are demanding to
enact stringent laws to protect the software and thereby protect heavy
investment made in software development area.

3. Accountability, Liability and Control

Development information technology also creates a new problem

relating to the liability and social practices which makes individuals
and organizations held accountable. Accountability, liability and
control raise certain ethical issues. It is necessary to find answers to
the responsibility, liability and accountability of software companies
regarding the consequences of the use of their software. System
damage and failures on information is a usual experience. Individuals
should be encouraged to develop their own backup. Sever conflicts
are going on between the service providers and users regarding the
quality of services. Service providers always try to avoid their
responsibility and to maximize their profits.

4. System quality and related issues

Another serious issue which may come up with the development of

information technology is wide spread marketing of low quality and inferior
software and systems. They don’t conduct strict quality control tests. Failure
in data quality is a serious issue and which raises certain ethical issues to the
software companies. Software should be released only when it is fully
confirmed that it is a best product, totally bug free and satisfying all test
criteria. The government and administrators also want to decide about the
quality. The government can establish standard institutes to certify the
quality of software and systems.

5. Other issues

• Employment and productivity:

The impact of computers on employment and productivity is directly

related to the use of computers to achieve automation. Introduction of
computers have substantially reduced some type of job opportunities. It is
true that computers perform many aspects of people’s work but it
concentrates more on doing dull and repetitive.

• Individuality:

Another issue with computer based systems is its negative effect on th

individuality of people. Human relationship presents in non - computer
systems are completely neglected in computer based systems.

• The quality of life:

Some works done with help of computers are repetitive and routine
and it forces people to work like a machine. Certain procedures and
operations of computer based systems are monotonous and boring.

• Security information:
Computers also make threat on the security of data. Users have
concern on their data kept in the record and files in the system.

• Computer and crime and abuse:

Accessing of others computer without consent, destroy information in

it etc is now treated as computer crimes

• Health problems:

Many health problems are coming up with the extensive use of

computers. It creates stress on eyes, back bone and this leads to many
serious health problems.