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Social, Ethical, & Legal Issues in ISs

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1 Social, Ethical, & Legal Issues in ISs
Chapter 4 (Updated Nov. 26, 2013)

2 Ethics Principles of right & wrong that individuals, acting as free moral agents, use to make choices to guide their behaviours* Not the same as legal, but frequently, actions that are unethical are also illegal – and not everything that is illegal is unethical* Digital Law – new, expanding** *Ethics: Principles of right and wrong acquired through socialization. Also called morale (ethical=moral). Unwritten norms, more stable over time, which are usually part of culture. There are different ethics, we usually talk about norms shared by a majority in a certain social context. Violation leads to social sanctioning or condemnation. *Law: Legislative pronouncements of rules to be followed in society Written, changing over time. Violation leads to financial and physical liability before court. **Digital law refers to legal requirements, legal decisions and ethics that relate to digital environments. Digital law can directly affect students in classrooms, employees and organizations as a whole. Plagiarism is of particular interest in the school context because of the ease with which digital content can be copied and pasted from other sources without recognizing the original source. Some of the legal developments in Canadian law have been evolutionary and based on standard law. One direction may be summed up as, “If it is illegal offline, it is illegal online”. (See: Chapter 4 MIS 2000

3 A Metaphor for Thinking about Ethical, Social, & 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 & 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 grey areas Chapter 4 MIS 2000

4 Five Moral Dimensions of the Information Age
Information rights & obligations Property rights & obligations Accountability & control System quality Quality of life Chapter 4 MIS 2000

5 The Relationship among Ethical, Social, & Political Issues in an Information Society
Chapter 4 MIS 2000

6 Technology Trends that Raise Ethical Issues
Chapter 4 MIS 2000

7 Nonobvious Relationship Awareness
Chapter 4 MIS 2000

8 Basic Concepts: Responsibility, Accountability, Liability
Responsibility: Accepting the potential costs, duties, & obligations for decisions Accountability: Methodology for identifying responsible parties Liability: Permits individuals to recover damages done to them Due process: Laws are well known & understood, with an ability to appeal to higher authorities Chapter 4 MIS 2000

9 Ethical Analysis Identify & clearly describe the facts
Define the conflict or dilemma, & identify the higher-order values involved Identify the stakeholders Identify the options that you can reasonably take Identify the consequences of your options Chapter 4 MIS 2000

10 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 Chapter 4 MIS 2000

11 Candidate Ethical Principles #2
Utilitarian Principle: Take the action that achieves the greatest value for all concerned 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 & intangible objects are owned by someone else, unless there is a specific declaration otherwise Chapter 4 MIS 2000

12 Privacy in the Internet Age
Privacy: Claim of individuals to be left alone, free from surveillance or interference from other individuals, organizations, or the state. Ethical (cultural) norms with legal backing. Personal Information Protection & Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) establishes principles for collection, use, & disclosure of personal data* Provinces have parallel legislation PIPEDA - Originally, Privacy Act of Canada (1980). The purpose of this Act was to extend the present laws of Canada that protect the privacy of individuals with respect to data the government collects on them and to provide individuals with a right of knowing what these data are and accessing them. - Bill C-6, Canada’s modern privacy law Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) Passed by Parliament April 13, 2000 Establishes principles to govern the collection, use, and disclosure of personal data Privacy Commissioner to receive complaints concerning contraventions of the principles, conduct investigations, and attempt to resolve such complaints Unresolved disputes relating to certain matters can be taken to the Federal Court for resolution Chapter 4 MIS 2000

13 Internet Challenges to Privacy
Internet facilitates tracking of online activities (e.g., cookies are used to trace Web site visits)* Web bugs & spyware can install automatically Opt-in versus opt-out models of informed consent (e.g., filling in online profiles in order to get access to some documents or software) *Collecting large amounts of data on customers (e.g., Big Data), and processing these data to profile customers can violate norms of privacy and border with breaches of privacy laws. Chapter 4 MIS 2000

14 Cookies Figure 4-3 Chapter 4 MIS 2000

15 Privacy Policies Figure 4-4 Chapter 4 MIS 2000

16 How Google Uses the Data It Collects
Chapter 4 MIS 2000

17 Technical Solutions Platform for Privacy Preferences (P3P)
Enables automatic communication of privacy policies between an e-commerce site & its visitors Privacy policy can become part of the page’s software Figure 4-4 Chapter 4 MIS 2000

18 Intellectual Property Rights
Intellectual property is intangible property created by individuals or corporations Protected by: Trade secrets Copyright Patents Chapter 4 MIS 2000

19 Trade Secrets Intellectual work or product belonging to a business and not found in the public domain Supreme Court test for breach of trade secrets: Communications must be labelled “confidential” Communicated content must have been misused by the receiver Effects must have been harmful to the complainant Chapter 4 MIS 2000

20 Copyright Statutory grant protecting intellectual property from being copied for at least 50 years Canadian copyright law protects original literary, musical, artistic, & dramatic works. It also includes software & prohibits copying of entire programs or their parts. NOTE: This week, the US Congress began entertaining a bill to reduce copyright to 50 years from 70. Chapter 4 MIS 2000

21 Patent A grant to the creator of an invention giving the owner an exclusive monopoly on the ideas behind an invention for between 17 & 20 years Patent law grants a monopoly on underlying concepts & ideas of software Originality, novelty, & invention are key concepts Chapter 4 MIS 2000

22 Challenges to Intellectual Property Rights
Perfect digital copies cost almost nothing Sharing of digital content over the Internet costs almost nothing Sites, software, & services for file trading are not easily regulated A Web page may present data from many sources & may incorporate framing Chapter 4 MIS 2000

23 Accountability, Liability, & Control
Computer-related liability problems System quality Data quality & system errors No software is perfect, errors will be made, even if the errors have a low probability of occurring Software developers knowingly ship “buggy” products At what point should software be shipped? Chapter 4 MIS 2000

24 Accountability, Liability, & Control
Quality of life: Equity, access, & boundaries (continued) Computer crime & abuse (stealing data vs. using work computer for private purposes) Employment: Trickle-down technology & reengineering job loss impact Equity & access: Increasing racial & social class divisions AKA The Digital Divide Health risks: RSI, CVS, & technostress Chapter 4 MIS 2000

25 Mason’s PAPA Model Property: Whose property is it anyway? Do NOT pirate anything! Accuracy: How accurate does it need to be? Think of the Hubble Space Telescope. Privacy: Do you want everything about you to be public knowledge? How can you protect your privacy? (The Globe & Mail test, the Mama test) Access: Who should have access? Equity of access within a business. Do not omit staff from access if they need access. Chapter 4 MIS 2000

26 Brabston’s Extension to Mason’s PAPA Equity
Layoffs: These are people’s lives, not statistics! Access to IT: For an equitable society & one that trains everyone in certain fundamental skills, everyone must have access to appropriate hardware, software, & networks Access to computer literacy: Everyone must understand how to use a computer & the Internet Access to informing literacy: Everyone should understand what information is valid, reliable, consistent, accurate, appropriate, etc. --? Chapter 4 MIS 2000

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