Chapter 4 ITM.docx

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Ryerson University
Information Technology Management
ITM 301
Vikraman Baskaran

Chapter 4 ITM – Social Ethical and Legal Issues in a Digital Firm What ethical, social, and political issues are raised by information systems? Information technology is introducing changes for which laws and rules of acceptable conduct have not yet been developed. Increasing computing power, storage, and networking capabilities—including the Internet— expand the reach of individual and organizational actions and magnify their impacts. The ease and anonymity with which information is now communicated, copied, and manipulated in online environments pose new challenges to the protection of privacy and intellectual property. The main ethical, social, and political issues raised by information systems center around information rights and obligations, property rights and obligations, accountability and control, system quality, and quality of life. Recent Examples of failed ethical judgment by managers Government of Canada – Sponsorship Scandal, wherein the government apparently paid favoured marketing firms for services that were not needed/ provided Enron – Top three executives convicted for misstating earnings using illegal accounting schemes and making false representations to shareholders. 4.1 Five Moral Dimensions of Information Age Information rights and obligations. What information rights do individuals and organizations possess with respect to themselves? What do they protect? Property Rights and obligations. How will traditional intellectual property rights be protected in a digital society in which tracing/accounting for ownership are difficult to ignore. Accountability and control. Who can and will be held accountable/liable for harm done. System Quality. What standards of data and system quality should we demand to protect individual rights Quality of Life. What values should be preserved in an info. And knowledge based society? Advances in data storage techniques and rapidly declining storage costs have been responsible for the growing databases on individuals- employees, customers and potential customers- maintained by private/public organizations. The advances have been made the routine violation of individual privacy both cheap and effectively. Profiling- The use of computers to combine data from multiple sources and create electronic dossiers of detailed info on individuals. NORA – (nonobvious relationship awareness) – new data analysis technology given both the government and private sectore more powerful profiling capabilities. Human Resource Systems } Telephone Records } Customer Transaction Systems } NORA Incident and Arrest Systems } ―watch‖ lists
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