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AACS3034 Managing Information Systems CHAPTER 8 Page 1 of 12 CHAPTER 8 Ethics in an Information Society After reading this chapter, you will be able to: •Analyse the relationships among ethical, social, and political issues that are raised by ISs. •Identify the main moral dimensions of an information society and specific principles for conduct that can be used to guide ethical decisions. •Identify internet challenges to privacy 8.0Understanding Ethical and Social Issues Related to Systems −Ethics refers to the principles of right and wrong that can be used by individuals acting as free moral agents to make choices to guide their behaviour. −Information technology and information systems raise new ethical questions for both individuals and societies because they create opportunities for intense social change, and thus threaten existing distributions of power, money, rights, and obligations. −Information technology can be used to achieve social progress, but it can also be used to commit crimes and threaten cherished social values. −Thus, the development of information technology will produce benefits for many, and costs for others. A Model for Thinking About Ethical, Social, and Political Issues •Ethical, social, and political issues are closely linked. •When new information technology and systems are introduced suddenly, individuals may not be able to accept them. •Social institutions cannot respond overnight to these changes – it may take years to develop etiquette, expectations, social responsibility, “politically correct” attitudes, or approved rules. •Political institutions also require time before developing new laws and often require the real harm to exist before they take actions. •The following model is useful for identifying the main moral dimensions of the information society, which cut across various levels of action – individual, social, and political.
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