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Ethical & Social Issues

Opportunities of many
benefits
Source of abuses

Direct & indirect care of the aged


community
Australian government
Improve quality of life
Feel more in touch
Internet

Grocery
Bill payment

The smart house initiative


Passive infrared detectors
Door entry systems
Emergency pendants
Bed and chair sensors

Privacy issues
Being monitored 24/7
Awareness, consent, ownership, and
access of data

Culture competent
Interface (English only???)

Feel comfortable with computers


Knowledge and skills

4.1 Understanding ethical and social


issues related to systems
4.2 Ethics in a information society
4.3 The moral dimensions of
information systems

4.1 Understanding Ethical & Social

Issues
Failed Ethical Judgment by
managers
Lehman
Brothers

Conceal bad investments

Enron

Misstate earning via illegal accounting


scheme

Merrill Lynch Assisting Enron

Fat Cats
Big bonus while business collapsing,
were not masterminded by information systems,
Bankers or CEOs
Information systems were instrumental

Ethics
Principles of right or wrong
Individuals use
free moral agents

to make choices
to guide their behaviors

Info systems raise new ethical

questions for
Individuals
Improve efficiency
Cause many to lose jobs

Societies
Empowered citizen to better manage public
issues
Enable criminals to commit crime much easier
Computerized telemarketing scams

Ethical, Social, and Political


issues

Email

Five Moral Dimensions of the info


age

Profiling
Advance of data analysis

Combine data from multiple sources

Credit cards purchases


Telephone calls
Magazine subscriptions
Video rentals

Create electronic files of detailed info on


individual

NonObvious Relationship
Awareness
Watch Lists

4.2 Ethics in an Info Society


Basic concepts
Features & guidelines of ethical choices

Responsibility
Individual
Accept the potential costs, duties, and
obligations for the decisions you made.

Accountability
System & social institute
Mechanisms to determine who took
responsible action, who is responsible.

Liability
Law
Permit individuals to recover the damage
done to them by other actors

Due process
Law-governed societies
An ability to appeal to higher authorities to
ensure that the laws are applied correctly
Ex: Anti-trust disputes.

Ethical Analysis
1. Identify and describe clearly the fact.

Who did what to whom, and when, where,


and how.

2. Define the conflict or dilemma and


identify the higher-order values involved.

Freedom of speech, privacy,

3. Identify the stakeholders

Who has interests in the outcomes

4. Identify the options that you can


reasonably take.

None of the options may satisfy all the


interests involved.

5. Identify the potential consequences of


your options.

Options may work in one instance but not


in other similar instance.

Candidate ethical principles


Guidelines used for making decisions &
judgments

Golden rule

Do unto others as you would have them do


unto you

Categorical imperative

If an action is not right for everyone to


take, it is not right for anyone.
Ex: Fossil fuel consumption vs. clean energy

Descartes rule of change


If an action can not be taken repeatedly, it
is not right to take at all.
The slippery-slope rule
An action might bring about a small change
now
Acceptable

If it is repeated
It would bring unacceptable changes in the long run.

ex: Cyber bullies, zero tolerance

Utilitarian principle
Take the action that achieves the higher or
greater value
Ex. Allow employees to use instant
messages or not.

Risk aversion principle


Take the action that produces the least harm
or the least potential cost.
Ex. Ban employee to install programs into
office computers.

No free lunch rule


Assume that virtually all tangible or
intangible objects are owned by someone
else
unless there is a specific declaration
otherwise.

Professional codes of conduct


Professional
Groups of people take on special rights and
obligations because of their special claims to
knowledge, wisdom, and respect

American Medical Association


Codes of ethics
Promises by professions to regulate
themselves in the general interest of society

Some real-world ethical dilemmas


Voice recognition software
Reduce the size of workforce.

Monitor employees Internet activities


Prevent from wasting company resources on
nonbusiness activities.
Ex. Gmail
Pet project from googles employee.

4.3 Moral Dimensions of IS

Information Rights
Property Rights
Accountability, liability, and control
System quality
Quality of life

Information Rights: Privacy and


Freedom
Privacy
The claim of individuals to be left alone
Free from surveillance or interference from
other individuals or
organizations, including the state.

Privacy issue in handling personal info


Credit reporting
Education
Financial records
Health care
Information technology and systems
makes invasion of privacy cheap, profitable,
and effective

Fair Information Practices (FIP)


Notice/awareness (core principle)
Disclose information practices before collecting
data

Choice/consent (core principle)


Allow consumers to choose how their info will be
used

Access/participation
Consumers should be able to review and contest
the accuracy and completeness of the data
collected

Security
Protect consumers info from unauthorized
use.

Enforcement
Mechanism to enforce FIP.

Internet challenges to privacy


Monitoring and tracking website visitors
Occur in the background without the visitors
knowledge
Software available to watch online
shoppers behavior
Help organizations better target their
offerings

Identify websites visitors


Visitors voluntarily register
Make purchases
Obtain free services

Cookies
Tiny file
resides on
computers
hard drive

Spyware
Secretly install itself on an Internet users
computer
Piggybacking on larger applications

Send banner ads


Unsolicitated material
Report users movements on the internet
Log users keystrokes

Gmail
Scan users email to place keywords related ads

Options of informed consent


Opt-out
Permit the collection of personal info
Until the consumer specifically requests that the
data not be collected
Default to U.S.

Opt-in
Prohibited from collecting any personal info
Unless the consumer specifically take action to
approve
Default to E.U.

Technical solutions
Platform for Privacy Preference (P3P)
Protect users privacy during interaction with
websites

Standard for communicating


Websites privacy policy
Policy to the users preference
Other standard
FTCs new FIP
European Directive on Data Protection

Information Rights
Property Rights
Accountability, liability, and control
System quality
Quality of life

Property Rights: Intellectual Property


Intellectual Property (IP)
Intangible property created by individuals or
organizations.
Trade secrets
Copyright
patent

Trade secrets
Any intellectual work product

A formula
Device
Pattern
Compilation of data

Provided it is not based on info in the public domain


Protect the actual idea in the work product
Nondisclosure agreement between employees and
customers
Prevent the secret falling into the public domain

Microsoft sued Google over Kai-Fu Lee

Copyright
Protect IP from being copied by others
Life of the author + 70 years after death
Corporation: 95 years after creation

Encourage creativity & authorship


Protect the manifestation in a work
Underlying ideas behind a work are not protected

Apple sued Microsoft


on the expression of overlapping idea

The expression can be express only in a single


way, therefore is not protected

Patents
Grants the owner an exclusive monopoly on
the ideas behind an invention for 20 years
Determined by patent office and relies on
court rulings
Inventor receives full reward
Make widespread use of invention

Challenges to IP rights
Ease of replication
Ease of transmission
Ease of alteration
Internet service provider (ISP) are
required to take down sites of copyright
infringers

Information Rights
Property Rights
Accountability, liability, and control
System quality
Quality of life

Accountability, liability, and control


Who should be responsible for the
consequence done by information
technology?

Software is part of a machine


Producer of the software is liable for damage

Software act like a book


Storing and displaying info

Not liable for its content

Software is more a service than a book

Information Rights
Property Rights
Accountability, liability, and control
System quality
Quality of life

System quality: data quality and


system error
Accountability for unintentional consequences
of system use

Perfect system quality is not


economically feasible
No one can afford the product

Avoidable and foreseeable errors


Publisher is liable

Sources of poor systems performance


Software bugs and errors
Hardware or facility failure
Poor input data quality
The most common source of business system
failure

Information Rights
Property Rights
Accountability, liability, and control
System quality
Quality of life

Quality of life: equity, access, and


boundaries
Social consequences of systems use

Balancing power: center versus periphery


Centralized mainframe computers
Centralized power
Corporations
Governments

Decentralized computing
Empowerment of workers
Decision making to lower organization level

Rapidity of change: reduced response


time to competition
Information systems help create
Much more efficient market
Reduce the normal social buffers for business to
adjust to competition

Business was wiped out quickly


Jobs were wipe out with business
Due to insufficient time for response to
competition

Maintaining boundaries: family, work, and


leisure
Separation work from family has been weakened

Ubiquitous computing
Telecommuting
do anything anywhere computing environment
The work umbrella now extends far beyond the
eight-hour day
Leisure time spent on the computer takes people
away from their family

Dependence and vulnerability


If information systems fails, it will cripple

Businesses
Governments
Schools
Private association
Churches

Redundancy

Computer crime and abuse


Technology create new opportunity to commit
crime

Computer crime
Commission of illegal acts thru the use of a
computer or against a computer system
Destroy a computer file
Stealing computers list
Illegal gaining access

Computer abuse
Commission of acts involving computer
Consider unethical
May not be illegal

Spam
Junk emails
Accounts for 70% of Internet email traffic worldwide
Email addresses may be harvested by software
robots
Message board
Chat room
website

Employment: trickle-down technology


and reengineering job loss
Reengineering
is typically hailed in business world
Potentially cause jobs loss

Jobs loss
Relieve bright, well educated workers to fastgrowth industries
Drive unskilled, blue-collar, older workers into
jobless

Equity & access: Increasing racial


and social class cleavages
Equal opportunities to participate in the
digital age

Digital divide
Ethnic and social class line
Income group

Health risks: RSI, CVS, and


Technostress
Repetitive stress injury
Mouse clicking
Keyboard
Carpal tunnel syndrome

RSI is avoidable
Ergonomically designed equipments

Computer vision syndrome


Headache
Blurred vision
Dry and irritated eyes

Technostress
Working continuously with computers
Expect other humans to behave like computers
Instant responses
Attentiveness
Absence of emotion

Aggravation
Hostility toward human
Impatient
fatigue

Interactive session
(Minicase)



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