ITM Chapter 4
- A leading IT distributor of hardware and software across Canada
- has an anti-piracy program that helps its customers recognize pirated software and pursue
purchasing legitimate software.
- Microsoft, who is heavily affected by piracy pledged to help with financial and material needs
for the seminars that TDC wanted to run across Canada.
4.1 - UNDERSTANDING SOCIAL, LEGAL, AND ETHICAL ISSUES RELATED TO SYSTEMS
- development of IT provides many costs and benefits.
A Model for Thinking About Ethical, Social, and Political Issues
- technology is like throwing a rock into a peaceful pond
- social institutions cannot respond to these ripples overnight, it may take years to develop the
proper, etiquette/politically correct attitudes towards them.
- political institutions require time before developing new laws and often require a demonstration
of real harm before they act. In the meantime, there is a grey area for HOW TO ACT.
Ethical -->social-->legal issues
Five Moral Dimensions of the Information Age
Information rights & obligations:
Property rights & obligations:
Accountability & control:
Quality of life:
Key Technological Trends that Raise Ethical Issues
1. Computing power doubles every 18 months : more organizations depend on computer
systems for critical operations
2. Data storage costs rapidly declining: Organizations can easily maintain databases on
3. Data analysis advances: Companies can analyze vast quantities of data gathered on
individuals to develop detailed profiles of individual behaviour.
4. Networking advances and the Internet: Copying data from one location to another and
accessing personal data from remote locations are much easier profiling: the use of computers to combine data from multiple sources and create electronic
dossiers of detailed information on individuals.
DOUBLECLICK.com creates dossiers of customer preferences in exchange for revenue
ChoicePoint gathers data from police, criminal and motor vehicle records, insurance claims etc
to keep records of every adult in the U.S. They sell this info to businesses and the govt.
NORA (nonobvious relationship awareness): takes info about people from many sources
and finds obscure, nonobvious relationships. E.g. applicant for a casino job shares the same
cellphone number as a known criminal
4.2 - ETHICS IN AN INFORMATION SOCIETY
•Responsibility: Accepting the potential costs, duties, and obligations for
•Accountability: Mechanisms for identifying responsible parties
•Liability: Permits individuals to recover damages done to them
•Due process: Laws are well known and understood, with an ability to appeal to
1. Identify & clearly describe the facts
2. Define the conflict/dilemma and identify the higher-order values involved (e.g.
freedom, privacy, protection of property, the free enterprise system).
3. Identify the stakeholders
4. Identify the reasonable options
5. Identify the potential consequences of your options.
Candidate Ethical Principles
•Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you
•Immanuel 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: Take the action that achieves the greatest value for all
•Risk Aversion Principle: Take the action that produces the least harm or incurs
the least cost to all concerned
•Ethical “no free lunch” rule: Assume that all tangible and intangible objects are
owned by someone else, unless there is a specific declaration otherwise Professional Codes of Conduct
CIPS - comp info processing society
4.3- THE MORAL DIMENSIONS OF INFORMATION SYSTEMS
Information Rights: Privacy and Freedom in the Internet Age
privacy: The claim of individuals to be left alone, free from surveillance or
interference from other individuals or organizations, including the state.
- Charter of Rights and Freedoms : the right to be secure from unreasonable
- PIPEDA - Personal Info Protection and Electronic Documents Act
- The CODE ….(Canadian Standards Association’s Model Privacy Code)
→ identify the purpose of collection of personal info
→ obtaining consent
→ limiting collection
→ limiting use, disclosure and retention
→ safeguards (providing adequate security)
→ providing individuals with access to info about themselves
→ giving people the right to challenge an organization with compliance to these
Fair Information Practices (FIP): set of principles governing the collection
and use of info about individuals.
1. Notice/awareness (core principle)
2. Choice/consent (core principle)
The European Directive on Data Protection
- Euro countries have strict privacy rules
- consumers must provide informed consent before any company can legally use
data about them, and they have the right to access it, correct it, and request that no further data be collected
safe harbour: a private, self regulating policy and enforcement mechanism that
meets the objectives of government regulations, but does not involve government
regulation or enforcement.
Internet Challenges to Privacy
cookies: tiny files deposited on a user’s computer hard drive when a use visits
Cookies identify the user’s Web Browser software and track visits