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Chapter 4

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Ryerson University
Information Technology Management
ITM 102

Management Information SystemsChapter 4Social Ethical and Legal Issues in the Digital Firm Opening CaseTech Data Helps to Fight Software PiracyCost of software piracy in Canada Piracy rate pegged at 38 there are more than 30 000 jobs that have been lost resulting in about 1 billion in wages and salaries lost and more than 255 million in tax revenues lost Software piracy is bad for business Piracydownloading of illegal software BRIC counties Brazil Russia India and china piracy rate of 73 Managers need to develop appropriate guidelines and polices within their own organizations and to push governments to likewise adopt strict copyright legislation and then to enforce the law Tech Data Canada was looking for a way to make it easier for its customers to know when they were being offered pirated software Tech Data hopes its antipiracy program will help its customers recognize pirated software and pursue purchasing legitimate software41 Understanding Social Legal and Ethical Issues Related to SystemsEthics refers to the principles of right and wrong that individuals acting as free moral agents use to make choices to guide their behaviours IT raise new ethical questions for both individuals and societies because they create opportunities for intense social change and thus threaten existing distributions of power money rights and obligations Like other technologies such as steam engines electricity telephone and the radio IT can be used to not only achieve social progress but also commit crime and threaten cherished social values Development of IT will produce benefits for many and costs for others Ethical issues in IS have been given new urgency by the rise of the Internet and electronic commerce Internet and digital firm technologies make it easier than ever to assemble integrate and distribute information unleashing new concerns about the appropriate use of customer information protection of personal privacy and protection of intellectual propertyOther issues include establishing accountability for the consequences of IS setting standards to safe guard system quality that protects the safety of the individual and society and preserving values and institutions considered essential to the quality of life in an information society A Model for Thinking about Ethical Social and Political IssuesEthical social and political issues are closely linked Social institution cannot respond overnight may take years to develop etiquette expectations social responsibility politically correct attitudes or approved rules Political institutions also require time before developing new laws and often require the demonstration of real harm before they act Five Moral Dimensions of the Information Agemajor ethical social and political issues raised by IS include the following moral dimensions oInformation rights and obligationswhat information rights do individuals and organizations possess with respect to themselves What can they protect What obligations do individuals and organizations have concerning this informationoProperty rights and obligationshow will traditional intellectual property rights be protected in a digital society in which tracing and accounting for ownership are difficult and ignoring such property rights is so easyoAccountability and controlwhich can and will be held accountable and liable for the harm done to the individual and collective information and property rightsoSystem qualitywhat standards of data and system quality should be demand to protect individual rights and the safety of societyoQuality of lifewhat values should be preserved in informationand knowledge based society What institutions should we protect from violation Which cultural values and practices are supported by the new IT
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