CS 590M -- Information Systems

Chapter 4 -- Ethical and Social Impact of Information Systems

(This page last modified June 11, 1997. Please send comments to H.E. Dunsmore)

Teaching Objectives

Key Terms

Information rights
Due process
Immanuel Kant's Categorical Imperative
Descartes' rule of change
Utilitarian Principle
Risk Aversion Principle
Ethical "no free lunch" rule
Fair Information Practices (FIP)
Intellectual property
Trade secret
Computer crime
Computer abuse
Repetitive stress injury (RSI)
Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS)
Computer vision syndrome (CVS)

Chapter Outline

4.1 Understanding Ethical and Social Issues Related to Systems

A Model for Thinking About Ethical, Social, and Political Issues

Five Moral Dimensions of the Information Age

Key Technology Trends That Raise Ethical Issues

4.2 Ethics in an Information Society

Basic Concepts: Responsibility, Accountability, and Liability

Ethical Analysis

Candidate Ethical Principles

Professional Codes of Conduct

Some Real-World Ethical Dilemmas

4.3 The Moral Dimension of Information Systems

Information Rights: Privacy and Freedom in an Information Society

Property Rights: Intellectual Property

Accountability, Liability, and Control

System Quality: Data Quality and System Errors

Quality of Life: Equity, Access, Boundaries

Management Actions: A Corporate Code of Ethics

Internet Resources

EMASS Data Storage Solutions of Garland, Texas, is discussed in the textbook on page 97.

The Electronic Privacy Information Center is a research center in Washington, D.C. established in 1994 "to focus public attention on emerging civil liberties issues and to protect privacy, the First Amendment, and constitutional values".

Ethical and Professional Issues in Computing Center at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Papers and workshop materials available.

Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility. Look at the "Privacy and Civil Liberties" link.

Computer Operations, Audit, and Security Technology (COAST) is a laboratory concerning computer security research in the Computer Science Department at Purdue University.

Walter Mossberg in the Personal Technology column of the Wall Street Journal (October 24, 1996, B1) suggests that readers check out the "Stalker" site to see examples of kinds of private information available on the World-Wide Web.

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