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Unformatted text preview: Example Topics in Computer Ethics When establishing a computer ethics program and accompanying training and awareness programs, it is important to consider the topics that have been addressed and researched. The following topics, identified by Terrell Bynum, are good to use as a basis. ANY OF T H IS TOP ICS Computers in the Workplace. Computers can pose a threat to jobs as people feel they may be replaced by them. However, the computer industry already has generated a wide variety of new jobs. When computers do not eliminate a job, they can radically alter it. In addition to job security concerns, another workplace concern is health and safety. I t is a computer ethics issue to consider how computers impact health and job satisfaction when information technology is introduced into a workplace. Computer Crime. With the proliferation of computer viruses, spyware, phishing and fraud schemes, and hacking activity from every location in the world, computer crime and security are certainly topics of concern when discussing computer ethics. Besides outsiders, or hackers, many computer crimes, such as embezzlement or planting of logic bombs, are committed by t rusted personnel who have authorization to use company computer systems. Privacy and Anonymity. One of the earliest computer ethics topics to arouse public interest was privacy. The ease and efficiency with which computers and networks can be used to gather, store, search, compare, retrieve, and share personal information make computer technology especially threatening to anyone who wishes to keep personal information out of the public domain or out of the hands of those who are perceived as potential threats. The variety of privacy-related issues generated by computer technology has led to reexamination of the concept of privacy itself. Intellectual Property. One of the more controversial areas of computer ethics concerns the intellectual property rights connected with software ownership. Some people, like Richard Stallman, who started the Free Software Foundation, believe that software ownership should not be allowed at all. He claims that all information should be free, and all programs should be available for copying, studying, and modifying by anyone who wishes to do so. Others, such as Deborah Johnson, argue that software companies or programmers would not invest weeks and months of work and significant funds in the development of software if they could not get the investment back in the form of license fees or sales. Professional Responsibility and Globalization. Global networks such as the Internet and conglomerates of business-to-business network connections are connecting people and information worldwide. Such globalization issues that include ethics considerations include: Global laws Global business Global education Global information flows Information-rich and information-poor nations Information interpretation The gap between rich and poor nations, and between rich and poor citizens in industrialized...
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This note was uploaded on 10/17/2010 for the course IFSM 201 taught by Professor Ferguson during the Fall '10 term at University of Maribor.
- Fall '10