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Chapter 4

ITM 102 Chapter Notes - Chapter 4: Canadian Information Processing Society, Canadian Medical Association, Canadian Bar Association

Information Technology Management
Course Code
ITM 102
Vikraman Baskaran

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ITM Chapter 4 (Social, Ethical, and Legal s in the Digital Firm)
- Principles of right and wrong that individuals, acting as free moral agents, use to make
choices to guide their behaviours
A model for thinking about ethical, social, and political issues
- Society as a calm pond
- IT as a rock dropped in pond, creating ripples of new situations not covered by old rules
- Social and political institutions cannot respond overnight to these ripples — it may take
years to develop etiquette, expectations, laws
- Requires understanding of ethics to make choices in legally gray areas
Five moral dimensions of the information age
- Information rights and obligations
- Property rights and obligations
- Accountability and control
- System quality
- Quality of life
Basic concepts: responsibility, accountability, liability
-Responsibility: Accepting the potential costs, duties, and obligations for decisions
-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 higher
Ethical Analysis
1. Identify and clearly describe the facts
2. Define the conflict or dilemma, and identify the higher-order values involved
3. Identify the stakeholders
4. Identify the options that you can reasonably take
5. Identify the consequences of your options
Candidate ethical principles
1. Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you
2. Immanuel Kant’s Categorical Imperative: If an action is not right for everyone to take,
then it is not right for anyone
3. Descartes’ rule of change: If an action cannot be taken repeatedly, then it is not right
to be taken at any time
4. Utilitarian Principle: Take the action that achieves the greatest value for all concerned
5. Risk Aversion Principle: Take the action that produces the least harm or incurs the least
cost to all concerned
6. 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
- Promises by professionals 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 Canadian Information Processing Society (CIPS)
Information rights: Privacy and freedom in the Internet Age
-Privacy: Claim of individuals to be left alone, free from surveillance or interference from
other individuals, organizations, or the state.
- Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) establishes
principles for collection, use, and disclosure of personal information
- Provinces have parallel legislation
Internet Challenges to Privacy:
- Ability to collect data on online activities
- Cookies are used to collect information from Web site visits
- Web bugs and spyware can be installed surreptitiously
- Opt-in versus opt-out models of informed consent
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